30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Twenty-Three: Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake

by Kate Klise and (illus) M. Sarah Klise

Henry Holt and Company, 2012.

grammy cover“Larry is a little lamb with a larger-than-life grandmother. She talks loudly, carries a heavy sewing machine, and has big plans to take Larry to Tanzania and the South Seas when he grows up. She even has a secret handshake. It’s all too much for shy little Larry—until a summer storm blows through the Lambs’ valley, and Larry finds an unlikely hero in his own family.
“This gentle tribute to the bond between child and grandparent reminds us that it often takes time for little ones to fall in love—even with those who love them the most.”–Publisher’s Comments.

The “gentle tribute” the publisher references is one of the best things about the book. A lot of Grandparent Books assume a ready-relationship or recommend that a grandparent/grandchild relationship is the most natural assumption in the world. In Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake, Larry isn’t so sure about this woman who comes to visit. She’s strange. And you know, Grammy models this gentle persistence wherein she doesn’t push Larry to respond in kind. She will be there for him–and in to his and his community’s good fortune.

grammy lamby page

Larry comes to appreciate his Grammy’s personality. She is a spirited figure and given the right circumstances he understands the value of it. Instead of repulsion, he becomes fascinated. The Klises accomplish a lot in the short time the tale takes–book-wise. Grammy and Larry are given much more time to accomplish the sort of relationship you can foresee with a growing delight.

grammy lamby page too

The illustrations place Grammy Lamby in Little Rabbit’s world*. Same palette, sets, and style. It has that timeless appeal as well, so collect Grammy Lamby and the Little Rabbit books and leave room for more. I hope to see much more in this vein from the Klise sisters; these really sweet and smart picture books like Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake.

{images belong to M. Sarah Klise}

*Little Rabbit books I’ve reviewed: Imagine Harry  AND Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth 

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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