Because of Grandpa,"" says 17-year-old Karen Kaye, ""I appreciate older people."" And undoubtedly the idea of this quasi-dialogue between Karen and her 78-year-old grandfather was to encourage similar appreciation in other young people. But as much as one may admire Morris Kaye--who commutes to the city daily to keep up his small business interests; who's widely informed, ever-helpful but never demanding--the presentation is just too stodgy, verbose, and transparently purposeful to hold a reader's attention. Apart from Karen's comments on Grandpa's daily life and his amplifications, we have some exchanges apropos of his early years on the Lower East Side, his hard-won education, and the business endeavors that eventually enabled him, in true American fashion, to make sure ""that my children and grandchildren will have it easier than I did."" But this is a much-told tale--which has often been told more compactly and strikingly than it is here. (We also have, deadeningly, a long sample of one of the stories about ""good guys"" and ""bad guys"" that Grandpa made up for his children and later told to his grandchildren.) The pictorial matter, moreover, consists of an occasional present-day photo in the text pages (many openings are unillustrated); a brief album of rather stiff family-album photos; and 20 additional pages of present-day photos at the close--some of which might better have accompanied the text, some of which are virtually meaningless, few of which add anything to what went before. It just seems a mass of material slapped together with good intentions and no guiding vision.