When Grandma Almost Fell Off the Mountain & Other Stories

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9780531059654: When Grandma Almost Fell Off the Mountain & Other Stories
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Grandma tells surprising and unusual stories about a vacation she took with her family when she was a little girl

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Rolling out the cookies, Grandma tells the two little girls she doesn't know any stories, but ``I'll tell you about the time my sister and I went to Florida by car with our parents.'' So begins a rambling, eventful account of a not-so-extraordinary vacation, propelled by the girls' queries and by artfully incorporated particulars of the 30's (```What strap?' Zelda asked. `Cars came with straps in those days. No one knew why. My grandmother used hers to hoist herself...'''), and, best of all, by the comfortably unassuming narrator, whose colorful words, brisk descriptions, and unerring choices of subjects keep her audience spellbound. The narrative device adds drama and a rich multigenerational flavor to a warmhearted picture of a lively family on a memorable trip, capped by the eponymous moment when ``All four tires lost their grip, and two of them slipped a tiny bit over the edge of the mountain.'' The color pencil and watercolor art, nicely interspersed with the long text, burgeons with good humor and period details; her spirited characterizations are in perfect accord with the zestful text. Swell for reading alone or, better yet, aloud. (Young reader/Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 1-3-- Like a favorite grandparent's reminiscences, this story of a childhood trip to Florida offers amusing moments but lacks general appeal. The premise is simple (sort of); Stella and Zelda, visiting their grandmother, request a story and get a family saga, delivered in Grandma's somewhat deadpan style. From the long drive south, to sister Claudia's unexpected dip in a lily pond, to their sojourn at the family hotel, and finishing up with the eventful trip home, the old woman keeps her grandchildren guessing. The text is long and crammed with action, leaving little room for characterization or a clear evocation of time and place. The humorous, energetic illustrations decorate the story rather than illuminate it. In several places, different characters look similar in profile, which serves to further weaken the story's impact. This mildly entertaining collection of family tales doesn't quite measure up to the nostalgic glimpses of the past or the exuberant evocation of intergenerational affection offered by such stiff competition as Karen Ackerman, Riki Levinson, Cynthia Rylant, and James Stevenson. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Porte, Barbara Ann
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