Outstanding mixed-media collages and a thoughtful text create a distinctive book that rises far above most tributes to grandparental love.
“Mr. Frank was a tailor,” proclaims the first page, in bold, unambiguous lettering. The image is of an older man, humbly clothed in a baseball cap and a fuzzy sweater with elbow patches. He smiles slightly as he prepares to unlock his workshop door. In the next pages, readers learn that today, “Mr. Frank received an order for an outfit that made all the others seem rather dull.” The double-page spreads that follow are perfect examples of artwork extending text, as each decade of Mr. Frank’s long career reveals the fashions he helped to create and promulgate—always in the context of how much more wonderful Mr. Frank’s newest creation must be. From army uniforms to miniskirts to tutus, readers get a taste of past fashions, as this outfit must be “more stylish than the suits he made over fifty years ago” and “more playful than the dresses and skirts he hemmed forty-some-odd years ago.” In fact, the project Mr. Frank works on so lovingly today is “perfect…there was nothing else he wanted to do.” The entirely wordless climax hints that the book may be turning maudlin, until the turn of the page reveals a humorous and heartwarming denouement.
It's a perfect ending to a perfect book. (Picture book. 3-7)