What’s My Picture Book Pick for 11/14?

Drum roll, please …

Grandpa Green

by Lane Smith

On the passionate recommendation of teachers and other mothers, I purchased an autographed copy of this book a few weeks back at my son’s school book fair.  I have yet to give it to him (it’s tucked away for Christmas), so I can’t speak to a child’s reaction just yet, but I can say that this heartwarming story by noted picture book creator Lane Smith is unique.  Together we follow Grandpa Green’s great-grandson through a garden where memories come to life in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees.  A child’s imagination gives life to things forgotten long ago:  childhood days on a farm, a bout with chickenpox, a first kiss, war, marriage, kids, grandkids, great-grandkids … and a garden.

“He was born a really long time ago, before computers or cell phones or television,” our tale begins.

“In fourth grade he got the chicken pox (not from chickens). He had to stay home from school. So he read stories about secret gardens and wizards and a little engine that could.”

“Now he’s pretty old and he sometimes forgets things like his favorite floppy straw hat.  But the important stuff, the garden remembers for him.”

Gently touching upon such sensitive subjects as aging and memory, Grandpa Green serves to remind children, parents, grandparents, and even grandparents that family history matters and that recording it in whatever form serves us all.

Take a peek at the book trailer and see more of the lush, magical artwork for yourself: