Kids Book Review: Grandpa Green

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Grandpa Green
Roaring Brook Press/Raincoast Books
age 5-8
by Lane Smith
32 pages

Synopsis from Raincoast Books:

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.

The relationship between kids and their grandparents is a special one. Grandparents are full of great stories, bringing a family’s history to life. But as grandparents get older, memories fade and stories disappear forever. Grandpa Green illustrates a delightful way an elderly man captures his stories for his grandson and future generations to enjoy, through his garden. What a wonderful way to relive history. Grandpa’s garden story is emphasised by only using the green shrubbery texture on the plants; the rest of the illustrations are simple like drawings with very little colour. This grandpa’s story to pop right off the page. Although there is text throughout the book, you could easily do a picture walk through the story, and retell grandpa’s own experiences as you see them. We love Lane Smith‘s storytelling and simple illustrations in It’s a Little Book too.

Grandpa Green is a whimsical book to look at but it also reminds us of the importance of the older generation and the stories they can share. Perhaps after reading Grandpa Green you can visit your own grandparents with the kids and discover some of your own family history.

You can find a copy of Grandpa Green by visiting your local book store or visiting Raincoast Books. Visit our Kid’s Books section for other great book recommendations. What are you reading with your kids?


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