GRANDPA AND ME AND THE PARK IN THE CITY
by Carren Strock
30 pages (8.5″ x 11″),
Purchase online via Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City is the story of Braden, a seven-year-old who spends his summers with his grandpa in the inner city, and comes to see the world in a new way. Although he thinks he’s too old to play in the park, Braden goes with his grandfather early one morning. He meets all kinds of people. Some are doing Tai Chi. Overly confident, he joins in only to find out that the moves are more difficult than they look.
Discouraged, he quits trying and begins watching other people instead. One woman can’t walk very well, but she doesn’t give up. First she moves slowly and in time she picks up her speed. And a man is trying to chin up but not getting far. He tries and tries until, at last, he does chin up. Then it comes to Braden, right out of the blue, some practice and hard work and he could improve too.
This book is for children, parents, and grandparents. It also lends itself to inter-generational, ethnic, and urban study theme units for elementary school teachers interested in Growth Mindset teaching and in creative classroom learning. Urban children especially will identify with the city park.
FIRST REVIEW:”Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City, written and illustrated by Carren Strock, celebrates the bond between a child and his grandfather and the rewards that effort and persistence can bring. Braden is a seven-year-old who spends time with his grandfather during the summer months. Although he lives in the country, Braden discovers that city-life has its attractions. He especially enjoys the park, with its swings, slides, and monkey bars. However, the day comes when Braden outgrows childish things, and he is disconsolate. Fortunately, Grandpa has some pleasant activities in mind that anyone can enjoy, such as Tai-Chi.
“The author celebrates diversity, showing people of different ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes enjoying city life together. In addition, she uses rhyme effectively, making this a good choice for a read-aloud. The illustrations are awash with eye-catching pastel colors.
“Grandpa and Me and the Park in the City” leaves us with a warm feeling. The connection between a growing boy and his devoted grandparent can be precious and lasting, and it is heartening to watch Braden mature and learn practical skills and values from his wise and loving grandfather.