CARNIVAL AND KOPECK And More About Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky
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In the course of 24 hours--Morning, Afternoon, Evening, The Next Morning--Hannah and her grandmother move through ruffled intimacy to rupture and reconciliation, enlarging and deepening the relationship set up in the linked stories of The Whistling Teakettle (1978). Grandma has moved to Nyack now (1932), and Hannah is tickled: this morning they'll play school--with Grandma as the pupil; then Grandma will tell her a story; and tonight Grandma has promised to take her to the carnival! But: ""No getting excited. No nagging for hot dogs. And no calling neighbors over."" Grandma, to Hannah's distress, is stand-offish. She's also put out when Hannah, playing Miss Pepper, gives her ""comb"" as a spelling word: ""C-o-m-b? C-o-m-b is combuh. . . don't think I'm a fool just because I wasn't born here""; and Hannah, repenting, awards her a gold star anyhow. The afternoon story is about the time Hannah's grandmother so infuriated her grandmother that she was sent home in disgrace; ""Wow! You were a brat!"" says Hannah. ""I can't believe it."" And that evening, when the two go to the carnival, Hannah forgets her promise not to get excited or nag for hot dogs or call the neighbors over. . . and winds up at home in disgrace. But the next morning when she tentatively, nervously, seeks her grandmother out--""I also broke my promise,"" says Grandma. ""I didn't behave like a mensch,"" says Hannah. ""I also didn't,"" says Grandma. And with a few well-chosen words about being human--and a key proviso (""True. . . next time we disagree, we'll leave out the insults"")--Hannah's grandmother draws them closer. It couldn't happen more craftily, more solidly, more entertainingly.

Pub Date: April 25th, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row