Children's John Cech My Grandmother's Journey

ISBN 13: 9780027181357

My Grandmother's Journey

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9780027181357: My Grandmother's Journey

At bedtime, a grandmother shares with her granddaughter their favorite story about Russia, gypsies, a field of butterflies, the revolution, and a young mother who, carrying her baby, journeys halfway around the world to freedom. Based on a true story.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 3 Up-- ```Feet,' she said. `Where haven't you been?''' ``She'' is a grandmother, and telling her granddaughter where her feet have been is the frame on which this narrative is hung. For the feet were young once, in pre-revolutionary Russia, in happy times of gypsies and orchards and plenty. But they have also carried the woman through the horrors of war and deprivation. Woven into the frightening story is the birth of a child, kind gestures of strangers, and the realization of new life in America. Based on a real person, the narration gives a real face to the generic masses affected by events of history. The illustrations are remarkable--bright and reflective of traditional Russian art. Repeating patterns, intricate borders, and powerful images greet the eye and complement the text with visual authenticity. The grandmother on the cover is shaped like a matrioska doll, perhaps foreshadowing the story within a story. This is not an easy book to categorize, for while it has a strong message of family, strength, and hope that young children could relate to, it is set in a complex historical matrix of interest to older readers. Elementary children would appreciate the story, but an astute middle or high teacher could use this picture book to illustrate this turbulent period. --Lee Bock, Brown County Public Libraries, Green Bay, WI CHRISTOPHER, Matt. Return of the Home Run Kid. illus. by Paul
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Basing his narrative on the experiences of his wife's mother, who was born in Russia in 1907 and escaped westward in a harrowing journey during WW II, Cech tells a moving story as it might be told to a grandchild at bedtime. When Grandmother was a girl, a grateful gypsy cured her of terrible headaches; when she was newly married, a less friendly gypsy told her a time would come when she would ``pray to endure one more hour...when your every footstep will be pain.'' Indeed, the Revolution brings famine and death; during the war, carrying a baby whose innocence helps win them many kindnesses, she and her husband make their way to America. Much is left out, of course, but what remains is an authentic picture of tragedy endured by dint of perseverance and good will. The artist's decorative style, abundant with patterns and borders, recalls both folk art and the mannered, richly evocative paintings of Chagall. Without detracting from the story's somber dignity, the pervasive floral designs subtly lighten the mood and provide a reminder that joy may prevail--as it does here in a happy ending that goes beyond the gypsy's prophecy. A compelling, thoughtful blend of the light and the dark in human experience, skillfully shaped into a tale suitable for sharing with young children. (Picture book. 4-9) -- Copyright 1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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John Cech
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John Cech, Sharon McGinley-Nally (Illustrator)
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