GRANDPA'S INDIAN SUMMER by Jan Wahl

GRANDPA'S INDIAN SUMMER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As often happens when Wahl puts his hand to an innocent story, it ends up with a slightly off flavor. This one, set up like a family album and oozing nostalgia from every page, is the autobiographical story of a 1930 summer when Grandpa brings a ""real Indian"" home to visit. While there, Clarence Bubbling Water dresses up in buckskins and beads, cheers for the Indians (as do the narrator and his grandparents) at the Wild West show, builds a teepee in the front yard, and generally elicits stares wherever he goes. (The sight of Clarence and Grandpa in warbonnets has neighbor Mrs. McPhee ""scared stiff."") Clarence leaves the winner--and reveals the ""bet"" he and Grandpa had mentioned at the start of the visit: ""the bet was no one would know who Clarence was if he didn't dress up."" No doubt Grandpa and Clarence had a good time, but--besides the fact that their bet doesn't make for a slam-bang punchline--the thrust of the memoir seems to be more a subtle but ungenerous putdown of the townspeople than a natural demonstration of brotherhood under the buckskin.

Pub Date: Dec. 15th, 1976
Publisher: Prentice-Hall