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A SPECIAL GIFT FOR GRAMMY by Jean Craighead George


by Jean Craighead George ; illustrated by Steve Johnson ; Lou Fancher

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-06-053176-8
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

A bond built on love, understanding and trust between a grandmother and her grandson proves pleasantly surprising for all involved.

As the time approaches to say goodbye after a visit to Grammy, Hunter leaves a small stone pile on his grandmother’s front porch. When she asks him what she’s to do with it, he answers, “What everyone does with a pile of stones.” She responds wisely, “Of course.” A few days pass, and then various people in the community utilize a stone or two for a wide range of purposes. The mail carrier puts one on a pile of letters so they do not blow away, a neighbor marks her pets’ graves with a couple, a girl stacks them as a directional signal, the carpenter fashions a plumb line with one, a gardener improvises and uses one as a hammer, while a boy puts a few near the tires of his wagon “to keep it from rolling downhill.” Johnson and Fancher combine acrylic, pencil and collage to create finely textured spreads that zoom out to show the bigger picture of how one small act of leaving some stones can end up having a significant impact. When Hunter returns, only six stones are left. How these last several are used will engage readers curious and creative alike.

Unexpected gifts for both Grammy and Hunter are the results from George’s satisfying ending; the book is ideal for prompting discussions about ripple effects and the power of imagination. (Picture book. 5-8)