Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Banjo Granny

"The river was fast. The river was deep. Owen's Granny could not cross. Then she thought of Owen, and her heart was set to see him."

Banjo Granny is the sweetest story about a Granny who sets out to see her grandbaby with a strong determination, a magical banjo case and the charm of a bluegrass song. Granny's heart is set to see her new grandbaby, but she must ford a fast river, climb a steep mountain and cross a wide desert. how does she do it? You must read the book!

It all starts off with a little bluegrass song. The first verse and stanza are printed with music notes in the book and if you visit the author Jacqueling Briggs Martin's website, you can find the rest of the song on her home page (so you can pull out your banjo and start a-twangin.')

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of many picture books, including Snowflake Bentley, winner of the Caldecott Medal in 1999. If you don't know this one, it has gorgeous woodcuts. Sarah Martin Busse is the co-author as well as Jacqueline's daughter and the mother of Owen. She is a poet, songwriter and mother of 2.

Barry Root is the talented illustrator of Banjo Granny and many other books. He's also a musician and father of 3 children. The art in this book blends perfectly with the words. It's all so golden, light and airy with a sense of humor. My son especially loves the page where Owen pulls off his socks and " when the birds who flew in from the east told him his granny was past the mountain, he tossed his socks out the window." In Barry Root's illustration, one of the striped socks lands on a bird's head outside the window and my son always laughs out loud!

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