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ANNA’S CORN by Barbara Santucci

ANNA’S CORN

By Barbara Santucci (Author) , Lloyd Bloom (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-8028-5119-3
Publisher: Eerdmans

A little girl experiences the loss of her grandfather in this sad, sweet tale about death. Anna, a farmer’s granddaughter, learns how to hear the “corn make music” from Grandpa. Together during one of their walks through the cornfields, they listen to the wind traveling through the stalks. After she hears the music this creates, Anna’s grandfather gives her some corn kernels to plant the following spring and makes her promise that she will. The adult reader will probably know what’s coming next when, that winter, Anna’s grandfather dies. When spring arrives, Anna’s reluctant to plant the kernels. When her mother asks her why, Anna replies, “If I bury them, they’ll be gone forever.” Her mother says, “They won’t be gone, Anna. They’ll just be different.” Anna finally summons up the courage to plant the seeds and listens to her own “corn music.” She also takes a few kernels from the new stalks to plant the next year—a nice moment to suggest the cycle of life. Santucci’s (Loon Summer, not reviewed) style is straightforward and her simple language and realistic dialogue serve the subject matter well. The story doesn’t unearth any new insights on losing a loved one, but does provide an easy window through which to view grief. Bloom’s (When Uncle Took the Fiddle, 1999, etc.) classic colored pencils and pastels reflect the gentleness of the story. Most illustrations are not full spreads, making it better for an intimate read. (Picture book. 4-8)