THROUGH GRANDPA'S EYES by Patricia MacLachlan


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How a little boy, whose grandfather is blind, learns in the course of a day to see ""through Grandpa's eyes"": an idea with possibilities that are only partially realized here. Problem number one is that the idea is thrust upon us rather than allowed to grow out of the story (to an early question, Grandpa replies, ""Close your eyes, John, and look through my eyes""). Other problems are a meandering text that sometimes uses language more for sound than for meaning (""his eyes are sharp blue though they are not sharp seeing""); rarefied examples of the capacities of the blind (Grandma sculpts Grandpa's head--and he pronounces it a good likeness; he and the little-boy narrator play the cello together, and he is the more adept player); and a tenuousness overall that--combined with the faint illustrations--virtually labels the situation ""special handling."" Now and again, however, we see--more interestingly and impressively--just how Grandpa copes: his breakfast is arranged on the plate like a clock (""Two eggs at nine o'clock and toast at two o'clock""); he pours his own tea ""by putting his finger just inside the rim of the cup to tell him when it is full."" And in an occasional exchange between grandfather and grandson the author does achieve the tenderness she's aiming for. A more down-to-earth treatment, however, would have accomplished more.

Pub Date: March 26th, 1980
ISBN: 0064430413
Publisher: Harper & Row