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Grandma's Gloves [Hardcover]

Cecil Castellucci , Julia Denos
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 10 2010
A child who loses a beloved grandparent finds comfort in carrying on the activities they shared in this sweet, genuine look at a universal rite of passage.

Grandma is always on her knees in the dirt, with her gardening gloves on, talking to her roses and laughing with the birds-of-paradise. Her home brims with plants and blossoms, and on hot days, she waters her granddaughter, her “most special flower of all,” with the garden hose. But a day comes when Grandma is no longer there to care for the little girl, who feels sad and small and alone until she remembers all that her grandmother taught her — and all that she now has to teach. Full of light and life and the solace of green growing things, this moving and beautifully illustrated picture book explores a timeless bond with warmth and joy.

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Product Description

Quill & Quire

The young girl who narrates Grandma’s Gloves enjoys spending time with her grandmother, an avid gardener. Together they water the flowers and tend the garden, then drink tea and eat cookies or homemade doughnuts. Her narration lingers on the sights, smells, and sensations of these visits.

When Grandma dies, the granddaughter is bereft. No one seems interested in Grandma’s plants – except the narrator, who carefully waters the garden wearing her grandmother’s gardening gloves. It is only when she asks her mother if they can plant a garden together that she finds some solace. She will teach her mother everything that Grandma taught her.

Grandma’s Gloves is former Montrealer Cecil Castellucci’s first book for young children, following several successes (Beige, The Queen of Cool, The Plain Janes) in the YA field. Judging by her author’s note, the story is drawn at least partly from Castellucci’s own experience. Children who are grieving will relate to the unnamed protagonist’s feelings.

The book’s execution, however, is not entirely satisfying. Perhaps Castellucci was a little too close to her subject matter – sentiment at times overwhelms the text. Loneliness, too: this small child seems to feel she alone must carry on her grandmother’s legacy by teaching her own mother to nurture – a heavy burden for one so young.

On the positive side, Bostonian Julie Denos’s watercolour-and-pencil images are bright and cheerful, as if washed in sunlight. They help dispel some of the heaviness of the subject matter, but like the narrator, they should not have to bear the load all on their own.

About the Author

Cecil Castellucci is the author of many acclaimed books for older readers, including Boy Proof, The Queen of Cool, and Beige. This is her first picture book. She lives in Los Angeles.

Julia Denos earned a BFA in illustration from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She lives outside of Boston.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars grandmas gloves Jan. 17 2011
By jessy
Format:Hardcover
this book was a wonderful tool for my 2 year old. my 78 year old grandmother lived with us for the last 8 years of her life. she required round the clock care which my daughter participated in. when she died my girl looked everywhere for her and this book really helped her and me deal with this terrible loss
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful July 20 2010
By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I admit I am a big fan of Cecil Castellucci's writings. I have read all of her novels and some of her short stories this year, and there is not one that I did not enjoy. Yet in this new picture book, there is a power to touch the reader's heart in a very deep and profound way. The first time I read this book it moved me to tears. It stirred memories of my own grandmothers who have been gone for many years. In this story a young girl loves spending time with her grandmother, and usually ends up in her garden, "talking to roses, scolding the succulents and laughing with the birds-of-paradise." But then grandma gets sick, and is in a home. Her grandmother starts thinking that the girl is one of her school friends from long ago. When grandma passes they have to clean out the house, and she wants grandma's gloves for her mother. This is a wonderful story. I have read it to my children a few times, and they talk about helping nana with her flowers. This book will be great for children of all ages, and especially those dealing with grandparents with illness or who have passed.

The artwork is incredible; it looks like a mix of water colors, pen and ink, and pencil. The tenderness between child and adult displayed with both words and pictures is enthralling. This will be a book we will treasure together for years to come and so will you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from Books That Heal Kids Oct. 28 2010
By Books That Heal Kids - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I couldn't help but to tear up while reading this. It is such BEAUTIFUL bibliotherapy. When I was a child, I would have wanted to read this to help with grief. It's the type of life lesson that puts a smile on your face when you close the book. There is so much we can teach children about what they can do with the memories they have of a grandparent. Author Cecil Castellucci reminds us to take these gifts and wisdom and keep passing them on. In Grandma's Gloves the little girl appreciates her Grandma's adoration of gardening. Her memories are filled with Grandma working in her garden and always having her gloves nearby. A relationship and bond formed out of this hobby. It's the connection to her Grandma. Who knew a pair of garden gloves could mean so much to a little girl. They mean so much that she wants to keep the tradition alive...so lovely.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grandma does not make it to the end of the book! March 14 2013
By Debra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Something I wish would have been made a bit more apparent to me prior to purchasing this book. it was meant to be a gift for a coworker, who loves gardening and was expecting her first grandchild. I "Looked inside the book" and found no mention of the fact that the poor child would at some point find her beloved grandma slumped in a chair, DEAD! As the dark ghostly figures take away grandma, the girl cowers alone, at the base of a staircase, gripping a blanket. In the explanation to the child, her dear Grandma is lumped with a ratty dog and a tree with the phrase, "Everything dies one day." Thank goodness my friend has a wonderful sense of humor and we all got quite a laugh at it. Lessons learned; do more than "Look Inside the Book" and don't buy this book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for children who lose a grandparent. Nov. 12 2013
By Heather Cahill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this in a book shop in America when I was visiting last year and when we returned home, I ordered two copies. They are a really great resource to have in our parish library for when children lose grandparents. The story is excellent.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandma's Gloves May 30 2012
By book grandma - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for the grandchild of a deceased friend.

I have found using a book as therapy is most helpful to the young child in understanding and coping with life's difficulties.

I read many books from the library and this one fit my friend, as she loved to garden.
5.0 out of 5 stars so sweet Feb. 10 2014
By Mika - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a sweet story of a little girl who loves and loses her grandmother. written in a way that makes death feel like a part of life rather than something scary. it addresses feelings of sadness and encourages us to remember our loved ones. a beautifully sweet, easy to understand, and totally child appropriate approach to sharing our experiences of losing loved ones with little ones. Julia Denos' illustrations are magical and make the story even sweeter.

i'm grateful to have added this to my collection to share with my children someday.
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