A grandfather’s folksy reminiscences about his grandkids’ not-quite-ready-for-Broadway moments in school plays and other heartfelt memories.
Like countless other grandparents, Rickard cherishes the pearls of wisdom that fall from the mouths of the children in his life. In this book’s 34 short sketches, he reveals a little of what he’s learned from those grade schoolers and a lot about how much he loves them. Grandchildren Missy and Bobby (fictional names to protect the real kids) are the best, so much more fun than their parents were and the cutest ever. Stories from holidays and daily life abound. One involves that classic bit of Americana, the school play, which features Bobby as the Knight in Shining Armor and Missy as the Pink Fairy Maiden in the Glen. Grandpa carefully chooses a place to sit in the audience where he can be “supportive” yet not “mistaken” for a parent. Scenery and costumes fall down, but it doesn’t matter: “Obviously, these kids have great talent. Anybody who knows anything about show business could see that.” Sometimes Grandpa acts as provocateur—“I bet the Pilgrims didn’t have marshmallows,” he says to bait little Bobby, to which Bobby responds, “I’ll bet they did.” A little of this goes a long way, and for some readers, it may go too far. Mild raciness pops up in some awkward sex questions children will sometimes ask about “bi-logical clocks” or about a friend whose parents were going to “Splitsville” or the many-times-married Aunt Maggie’s role as a “family skeleton.” Otherwise, the collection consists mostly of cloyingly sweet tales—the sort of stories that are more fun to tell than listen to. Experienced grandparents can laugh at each other’s fascination with their own special grandkids, and this book could have used more of that spirit. Missy and Bobby are lucky to have an adult in their lives who takes so much interest in their adventures, but other grandparents may protest that Missy’s and Bobby’s activities are no more remarkable than those of their own grandchildren.
Sugary tales that need more spice.