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by Wolfram Hänel & illustrated by Christa Unzner

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-7358-1630-1
Publisher: NorthSouth

Grandmother’s enthusiasm is contagious in this story designed to inspire the early reader to enjoy the simple things in life. Tony hasn’t seen his grandmother in four years. Grandmother, having grown tired of waiting for Tony’s busy parents to bring him to her, has decided to take him away for a fun weekend. She zooms up in a snazzy convertible and whisks him away to taste all those things to which he is unaccustomed. They take their time on back roads, eat a leisurely picnic lunch, talk, stay in a quiet village for the night, star gaze, and build sandcastles at the beach. The point gets slightly diluted when grandmother and grandson get huffy at a restaurant where they receive inadequate service due to their clothing. Upon returning home from the whirlwind weekend, Tony’s parents have somehow been mysteriously moved by Grandmother’s ways and have taken time out to do a puzzle. If Hänel’s (Little Elephant Runs Away, not reviewed, etc.) point is that it’s good to be slightly eccentric and slowing down can lead to wisdom, we get it, but it all seems a little too much when, at tale’s end, Grandma helps an old man cross a busy street. Not a bad effort for a brief adventure away from everyday life, and the essence is positive. Unzner’s (The Clown Who Said, No, not reviewed, etc.) watercolors-over-ink sketches adorn every page and bring warmth and dimension to the story. (Fiction. 6-9)