Grandpa Green

A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book

Written and Illustrated by Lane Smith

This book was nothing I was expecting but everything I loved! A little boy tells of his great-grandfather’s life through the amazing illustrations in his chosen occupation– horticulture.  Although I was sure this was the story of someone in the author’s life, it is a compilation of many life experiences he is witnessing in the lives of those he loves. The text is simple but touching because of the illustrations. This is a book I have opened several times in the few hours I have had it to re-read and absorb the message and thoughts in the pages. It is a book I want on the shelves of my home because of the nostalgia it possesses. Although this is billed as a picture book, I highly recommend it for those of us who are observing relatives who are being challenged with aging. This book would need explanation for the younger ages.

Review by Sandy Brigman, Frost Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: All Ages

Lane Smith – Official Website

Grandpa Green
Written and Illustrated by Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press
32 pages
Release Date: August 30, 2011
ISBN: 9781596436077

From the Publisher

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.

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5 thoughts on “Grandpa Green”

  1. I am kind of fascinated by how different this book is from Lane Smith’s last picture book (the slightly notorious It’s A Book). I appreciate the variety.

    Like you said, it would take some guidance to get most kids interested in this book, but the details in the illustrations definitely reward close looking.

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