Big Papa and the Time Machine (Hardcover)
HarperCollins, 9780062463319, 40pp.
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.
A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.
Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.
“Wasn’t you scared?”
“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”
About the Author
Daniel Bernstrom is the author of the critically acclaimed One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree and Gator, Gator, Gator!. Dan earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and currently works at the Learning Resource Center Coordinator at Minnesota State College Southeast, where he tutors students in math, writing, and science. He lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, with his wife, Heather; daughter, LaVonne; and sons, Grace, and Haven. Visit him at www.lillylabs.com.
Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of more than thirty picture books for children, including The Way a Door Closes by Hope Anita Smith, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award winner, and the author and illustrator of Olu's Dream. He has exhibited his art in West Africa and Paris and in Chicago, New York, and other major U.S. cities. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.
Praise For Big Papa and the Time Machine…
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A unique perspective in a beautifully executed book about starting school. A must-purchase. Bernstrom’s latest book digs deep, with a story about a child facing fears by discovering a grandfather’s difficult past . . . In the first-person narrative, written largely in dialogue that features African American Vernacular English, the child poses questions, and the knowing grandparent responds with sage, though not preachy, one-liners. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna find out what you made of.” Evans’s signature style animate(s) the story in a joyous way that uplifts the text."
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“This imaginative and inventive tale walks a child through African American history by way of his grandfather’s past. An excellent choice for reading with grandparents or for a first-day-of-school storytime.”
“Bernstrom’s colloquial text captures the warm relationship between Big Papa and his grandson.”
— Horn Book Magazine
“Love and reverence for history and family radiate from Bernstorm's words.”
— Kirkus Reviews