Grandpa Green – Perfect Picture Book

Lane Smith, Author and Illustrator

Roaring Brook Press, May 2011, Fiction

Suitable for:  Ages 5 ad Up

Themes: Aging Grandparent, Memory, Family History, Art

Opening:  “He was born a really long time ago, before computers or cell phones or television.  He grew up on a farm with pigs and corn and carrots…and eggs.  In fourth grade he got chicken pox.  He had to stay home from school  So he read stories about secret gardens and wizards and a  little engine that could.”   A boy takes a walk through a beautiful green topiary garden his great-grandfather  has pruned and shaped into wonderful artistic memories of his life.  Grandpa Green is aging and his memory fading.  But not when he enters his garden; it remembers for him.

Why I like this book:  Wow!  Purchasing this book is like owning a wonderful treasure.  It will certainly become a classic.  The book explores aging, memory, the bonds of family history, and love.  It is a powerful book that parents will want to share with their children, especially if there are aging grandparents.  There is so much detail in Smith’s enchanting artwork.   Activities:  Use this book to talk with your children about aging and family history.  Encourage your children to interview their grandparents  and journal family stories.  Introduce your children to horticulture.  Visit a greenhouse, a botanical garden, an arboretum or topiary      garden in your community.  For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books.

The following Grandpa Green book trailer is designed by David Taylor Design.

Grandpa Green

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

23 thoughts on “Grandpa Green – Perfect Picture Book

  1. I smiled to myself when I read this post. It’s so lovely, sweet an endearing. Reminds me of when as kids we thought 40 was OLD! It reminded me of the special times I had with my grandmother at the beach with her dog. It also reminded me of the cherised times I had with my mother-in-law, who loved to tell me of the mischef she got up to as a young girl, which seemed so tame to me.
    This is certainly a treasure find Pat, and I loved the trailer. Thanks so much for sharing this Perfect Picture Book.


  2. Lovely choice, Pat! I have read so many positive reviews about this book, that I can’t wait to read it myself. The trailer is really sweet, too! It sounds like the sort of book that leaves you with a really good feeling once you have read it. I know that Jen Robinson nominated this for the Cybils this year.


    • Thank you Joanna. I really d believe this book will become a classic and stand the test of time. It is beautiful. Actually, I was in the library talking with the children’s librarian. And, she said “wait there is a book I want you to read, it’s just been returnd.” I hope it places in CYBILS. It is that good.


  3. This is another book that has gotten great reviews and a lot of attention that I’ve been dying to read but haven’t gotten to yet. Thanks so much for sharing it here today, Pat. I think it’s a wonderful addition to PPBs!!!


    • Erik, I’m glad you liked the book. I think that it is very important for grandparents to share the family stories. I spent time with Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. He told me that if he asked kids in Pakistan and Afghanistan if they knew their family stories, every hand shot up. When he visits kids in US schools and asks the same question, only a few hands go up. If students participate in his program to build schools for kids in the middle east, part of the curriculum requires kids to interview and spend so many hours with grandparents and learn their stories. Pretty cool!


  4. Such a nice book – I am glad you chose to feature it Pat!

    Another nice activity would be to visit a greenhouse, or botanical or topiary garden. We are fortunate to have a gorgeous bonsai collection at a local arboretum – isn’t that a neat place to think about patience and things that are old and beautiful?


    • Cathy, thanks for the added suggestion to add greenhouses or botanical gardens. We have some beautiful one here to at an arboretum. Yes, agree with your last comment. A time of quiet reflection.


  5. This sounds like a wonderful book, Pat. I know I want to read it. It also looks like a good lead-in to reading some classic books, “about secret gardens, and wizards, and a little engine that could”.

    Love the topiary in the trailer!


  6. I have coveted this book since I first saw news of it. I haven’t been able to check it out of the library, so it might be one that has to go on the Christmas list. 🙂


  7. This look like a great book. I like what you said about “purchasing it was like owning a treasure”. That really says it all. Thank you for the trailer too. I love books that show appreciation for the elderly.


  8. This is such a beautiful book with an important message. It’s so important to teach children to appreciate and respect their grandparents at a young age. I also enjoyed the imaginative trailer.


  9. Pingback: Perfect Pairing for the Autumn of the Year | Wander, Ponder, Write

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