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Grandpa Green
by Lane Smith


Overview -

From the creator of the national bestseller "It's a Book" comes a timeless story of family history, legacy, and love.

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist.  Read more...


 
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More About Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
 
 
 
Overview

From the creator of the national bestseller "It's a Book" comes a timeless story of family history, legacy, and love.

Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green's great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten.

In his most enigmatic and beautiful work to date, Lane Smith explores aging, memory, and the bonds of family history and love; by turns touching and whimsical, it's a stunning picture book that parents and grandparents will be sharing with children for years to come.

"Grandpa Green" is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Picture Books title for 2011.
One of "School Library Journal"'s Best Picture Books of 2011.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781596436077
  • ISBN-10: 1596436077
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publish Date: August 2011
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 5-9


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Multigenerational

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2011-07-18
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this reflective tale, Smith (It's a Book) departs from his customary irony to muse on the memories, talents, and traditions passed down through generations. Smith's young narrator, in overalls and rubber boots, describes his great-grandfather. The boy waters plants and tidies up in a magnificent topiary garden, lined in delicate ink and decorated with ornamental hedges in the shapes of people, animals, and iconic objects. "He was born a really long time ago, before computers or cell phones or television," says the boy, and the first topiary depicts a crying baby. Other creations include rabbit- and chicken-shaped shrubs to suggest a childhood farm; a head-shaped bush dotted with red berries ("In fourth grade he got chicken pox"); and an erupting cannon to signify wartime. Smith works in an impressionistic range of emerald, moss, and seaweed hues, memorializing Grandpa Green's life events in meticulously pruned shrubs. The child eventually catches up with an elderly man who "sometimes forgets things. But the important stuff, the garden remembers for him." It's a rare glimpse into Smith's softer side—as skillful as his more sly offerings, but crafted with honesty and heart. Ages 5–9. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

A garden of memories

Whether he’s humorously reminding readers of the power of the printed word in It’s a Book or taking a nonconformist look at the founding fathers in John, Paul, George & Ben, author-illustrator Lane Smith never ceases to amaze. His latest endeavor, Grandpa Green, offers a unique perspective on family relationships that will resonate with both children and adults alike.

A young boy walks through a topiary garden and narrates the life of his great-grandfather, who wanted to study horticulture but went to fight a world war instead, met his future wife in a cafĂ© and returned to have a large family. While the boy, rendered in ink, blends into the background, his great-grandfather’s lush and meticulously sculpted bushes and hedges, created with watercolor, oil paint and digital paint, tell the real story.

It’s not long before readers notice that the boy is gathering gloves, eyeglasses and other items misplaced by his great-grandfather along the path. Though his great-grandfather is now forgetful, the boy knows that as long as the garden flourishes, his memories will always be preserved. To sum up the boy’s sentiments, a double-page spread shows the old man’s handiwork in all its glory. Even more surprises hidden in the illustrations await observant readers, who will find Grandpa Green an unforgettable blend of story and art.

 
BAM Customer Reviews