I was thrilled to find a new picture book by Caldecott Honor illustrator Lane Smith (It’s a Book) that had a fabulous family history theme just in time for Family History Month. In Grandpa Green, a little boy tells the story of his great grandfather’s life against the backdrop of a topiary garden of memories. The grandson walks through the garden picking up items his grandfather has forgotten while he tells the story of the man born before cell phones and computers who wanted to be a horticulturalist but instead went to war, met his wife in Paris, had lots of kids, grandkids, and one great grandson—the narrator. Each section of text is accompanied by a corresponding illustration of the grandfather’s garden where his memories live on. The detail in the topiary garden is amazing and the story is moving. It’s a well-constructed book with something for children and adults. And it would be a great conversation starter when talking about family history with a child. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
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