HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRAMPIE by Susan Pearson

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRAMPIE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A loving, straightforward narration of what should be a commonplace event--a Sunday visit, after church, to a disabled grandparent who lives in a nursing home. Although Martha remembers Grampie in livelier days, he's thin and frail now, blind, and no longer speaks English; he has reverted to his native Spanish. Martha has made him a special birthday card of materials with different textures, including the words ""Happy Birthday, Grampie. I Love You,"" in shiny letters mounted on a felt heart. At. the conclusion of his birthday celebration, which he has thoroughly enjoyed, she presents the card. He concentrates, feeling the letters, then laughs, hugs her, and says in English, ""Martha, I love you, too."" Himler's charmingly unpretentious watercolors perfectly reflect the generous, unhurried events. His soft tones are just right for the homely interiors, the occasional patches of beauty (such as a sun-dappled street scene), the subtle nuances in a loving relationship. Martha's suspense as Grampie decodes the message and their joy as they embrace are caught with heart-warming empathy. A lovely, realistic evocation of the American family at its best.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1987
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial/Dutton