Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. ~Charles W. Eliot

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A trip down grandparent lane

I was very fortunate growing up to develop a close bond with my grandparents. I always felt special in their eyes and I always felt cherished. My grandparents were wonderful storytellers who used to regale us with their stories. I've forgotten the details of so many of the stories but I vividly remember the way my grandparents would coax stories out of one another and nudge and wink. And I remember feeling surprised at some point when I realized that they had experienced so many adventures and lived through so much before I was even born. I remember wanting the stories to go on forever. Beyond being my amazing and beloved grandparents, they were such interesting people.

I am deeply appreciative of the years I had with my grandparents and equally appreciative of the fact that my children know and love their four grandparents. Our kids love to hear stories about Jeff's and my childhood, about our brothers and about our parents. They particularly love hearing about the first time their grandfathers met their grandmothers and the courting that ensued. I hope their interest in learning about the individuals who regally wear the grandparent crowns in their lives never wanes.

One of the most magical books to cross my desk over the last few months is an exquisite and heartwarming picture book by the talented Lane Smith called Grandpa Green. It's one of those amazing picture books that excites you when your child wants you to read it aloud over and over again. The story is told through the eyes of Grandpa Green's great grandchild and each page discloses a biographical fact about Grandpa Green, depicted by sculpted topiary trees. We get to know Grandpa Green as an individual and glimpse into his full and fantastic life. On a personal note, I found the topiaries to be extremely emotional and comforting and I think it's because the first time I ever saw sculpted trees was on my first trip to Disney World where my family traveled a million years ago after a visit with my grandparents. I loved seeing Mickey, Minnie and Donald in tree-form! In any event, the story is wonderful, the illustrations are beautiful and the themes are plentiful. I feel and hope that this is one of those books destined to become a classic.

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