Publication Date: August 30, 2011
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From the creator of the national bestseller It's a Book comes a timeless story of family history, legacy, and love. Grandpa Green wasn't always a gardener. He was a farmboy and a kid with chickenpox and a soldier and, most of all, an artist. In this captivating new picture book, readers follow Grandpa Green's great-grandson into a garden he created, a fantastic world where memories are handed down in the fanciful shapes of topiary trees and imagination recreates things forgotten. In his most enigmatic and beautiful work to date, Lane Smith explores aging, memory, and the bonds of family history and love; by turns touching and whimsical, it's a stunning picture book that parents and grandparents will be sharing with children for years to come. Grandpa Green is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Picture Books title for 2011. One of School Library Journal’s Best Picture Books of 2011.
Lane Smith has written and illustrated a bunch of stuff, including It’s a Book; John, Paul, George & Ben and Madam President. His titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor-winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. In 1996 Lane served as Conceptual Designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach. Lane also wrote and illustrated the retro, cult favorites, The Happy Hocky Family and The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country. Like the Hocky family, he and book designer Molly Leach live in a little town in the country.
“In this affecting picture book, a boy recounts the life of his beloved great-grandfather…The author’s illustrations, a blend of line drawings and sponge painting, have a classic feel, and make clever use of the topiary theme, rewarding close examination and repeated reading.”--The New Yorker “Great-grandpa’s memory may be going, but the past remains vibrantly alive in the playful topiaries that decorate his brilliantly green yard. Lush and magical.” --People "An unassuming little masterpiece…the book’s power lies in its rich, allusive artistry.” --New York Times Book Review “It's a rare glimpse into Smith's softer side--as skillful as his more sly offerings, but crafted with honesty and heart.” --Publishers Weekly Starred Review "Visually intriguing and emotionally resonant, this is a book to pore over and talk about. With each subsequent reading, it offers new layers of meaning and visual connections."–School Library Journal Starred Review
“Opening this book is like opening a gate to a secret garden, filled with the treasures of a life well lived. In his portrait of a boy who adores and honors his forgetful great-grandfather, Smith shows us that the things that are meaningful to the ones we love become part of our garden, too.” —Shelf Awareness
“Though this book has lots of adult appeal, it will also be a wonderful bridge to exploring family history with the very young.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Sketched with a finely lined fairy-tale wispiness and dominated by verdant green, the illustrations are not just creative but poignant.” —Booklist
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