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Kate Messner


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Grandpa Green PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
Grandpa Green is a stunning work of art and a beautiful study of family and love.
• This story will resonate with anyone whose family has begun to age: and isn't that all of us?
• This extraordinary story creates a bridge between the grandchild and grandparent generation; giving voice to the
   importance of that bond and giving concrete proof Grandpa or Grandma had rich, full lives before they came to
   cherish their grandchildren.
Sweet Book Summary:
Lane Smith seems to be looking for the meaning of life while creating picture books, and lucky for us readers, we get to go on the journey with him. Last year, in his spectacular It's A Book, Smith tried to make sense of our obsession with electronics. In Grandpa Green, he tackles dignity in aging (and possibly Alzheimers) through this impossibly beautiful and moving story that is perfectly pitched for a young audience.

The story tracks Grandpa Green's life as told by his young great-grandchild and his garden. We find out Grandpa was born (a really long time ago!), grew up on a farm, wanted to study horticulture but went to war instead, met his future wife and had many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Our narrator tells us Grandpa forgets things now. But all the important things he remembers through his family and his garden.

The story and the illustrations are just so touching. Young children are connected to their grandparents and great-grandparents always through their love for one another. The grandparents have the benefit of life experience when they look and marvel at their grandchildren; our children are missing that frame of reference due to their youth. Grandpa Green can give children a little of that perspective. Grandpa Green's story enlightens and reminds children that their grandparents had full, rich lives before and will impart a new level of respect between grandchild and grandparent.

* Image courtesy of
Author: Lane Smith Illustrator: Lane Smith Published: 2011, 32 pages
Themes: Excellent Read-Aloud, Exquisite Illustrations, Family, Aging, Grandparents
Sweet Discussion Questions:
• Who are your grandparents?
• What did your Grandparents do when they were younger?
• Have your Grandparents fallen ill? How did that make you feel?
• Can you write a story about your grandparents? How will you research it?
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox
Rose's Garden, Peter H. Reynolds
Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney
This recommendation was written by: Melissa Y.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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