Lou visits Grandad and Pops every Saturday and learns a lot from their radically alternative interests, until an accident disrupts the family’s happy routine.
Grandad likes learning how things work, and Pops enjoys the spicier things in life. Lou continually goes between them, equally validating their perspectives. Once Pops is asleep after listening to rock-and-roll, Lou and Grandad work on perfecting their (unnamed) Rube Goldberg machine that produces an aerial burst of paper cranes. One Saturday, Pops, already frail, suffers a fall, after which he must permanently use a wheelchair. Over the following weeks, Lou takes up the mission of getting a depressed Pops to come out of his room. Smith conscientiously relates how “the three Ps—perseverance, persistence and patience”—apply to many aspects of life. Kerrigan’s digital art couples quick pencil outlines with gentle and colorful watercolor washes, subtly mirroring the two grandparents’ personalities. Facial expressions and body language convey mood well. On the page turn when Pops falls, Kerrigan utilizes minimalism to successfully convey the incident and the sharp emotion it elicits. The ending is happily resolved but abrupt. Rachel Martinez’s translation for the companion French edition, Une idée pour Papi, is mostly verbatim but edits to two Ps, “la persévérance et la patience,” forgiven perhaps with the three words’ similar meanings, even in English. Granddad presents black and both Pops and Lou present white.
A positive and realistic representation of both a wheelchair user and an elderly, interracial gay male couple. (Picture book. 3-8)