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by Isabell Monk & illustrated by Janice Lee Porter

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-57505-605-4
Publisher: Carolrhoda

Grandpa Jack has passed away, and his half-African-American, half-white granddaughter (from the team’s earlier Hope, 1999) doesn’t want to attend his funeral because she’s afraid she’ll never see him again. Aunt Poogee can still see Grandpa Jack: “I can see us fishing on the river for hours, catching nothing but a cold,” she says, and reminds Hope of a glorious day of blackberry picking. The story turns to that day of buckets, a garter snake, the ensuing screams, a friendly snake primer from Grandpa Jack, and Aunt Poogee’s “gooey-good” blackberry stew (recipe in the back). Sure enough, Hope sees Grandpa Jack in her mind’s eye, “like he was standing right in front of me” and learns that he will live on in her memories. The lesson is overstated, especially near the end, when Hope rather stiffly recites her new insights before heading to the funeral. But children who have experienced the loss of a loved one may be comforted nonetheless. Porter’s rich, textured paintings, with their distinctive use of line, are warm and lively. (Picture book. 4-8)