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What! Cried Granny


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About the Author

Kate Lum and her husband live in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada, with their two children.


K-Gr 3-A resourceful Granny fulfills each of her grandson's bedtime needs in the most outlandish manner. The bright acrylic cartoons are in perfect sync with this zany putting-off-bedtime adventure. (Mar.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

K-Gr 3-It's Patrick's first sleepover at his Granny's house, and the woman is a little unprepared. As the sun begins to set, she instructs her grandson to get ready for bed. "But, Granny," the boy points out, "I don't HAVE a bed here." "WHAT?" cries Granny, and she runs out to chop down a tree, out of which she proceeds to make a bed. Patrick then points out the lack of a pillow, blanket, teddy bear...and finally, the fact that morning has arrived. This simple and inventive story moves along with a satisfying predictability; and if the pace is a bit rushed, readers will enjoy the mock surprise and melodrama of Patrick and Granny's repeated lines. The acrylic-paint illustrations are styled after the graphics of the 1950s and `60s, with dramatic and exaggerated layouts that command attention from a distance. The black text is well integrated into the double-page spreads, as are Granny's frenetic maneuvers. The effect is a little too enthusiastic, as is the story; but this is an admirable first picture book for both author and illustrator, and one that should find a place in most storytimes and collections.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA

This chuckler of a bedtime romp pits the wiles of a young procrastinator against his no-nonsense grandmother. Patrick's grandmother announces that it's time for bed. " `But Granny,' said Patrick.... `I don't have a bed here.' `What?' cried Granny." Thus begins the pleasingly repetitive structure of the text. A whirlwind of efficiency, this spry and resourceful grannyÄsporting reading glasses, pearls and a smart black handbagÄmakes a beeline for the yard, where she chops down a tree, carries it to her workroom and proceeds to make him a bed, following extensive blueprints. No pillow? No problem: a quick trip to the henhouse produces the needed feathers; and of course, Granny is a master seamstress. Finally all of Patrick's comforts are secured and Granny orders him to bed. "But Granny... it's morning," Patrick replies. Lum's forthright text plays straight man to Johnson's elastic artwork, which stretches the story's humorous elements with a kind of manic glee. With their beady eyes, poker faces and exaggerated hairdos (Granny sports a lavender beehive; Patrick an Elvis-esque swoop), Patrick and his Granny make a bracingly droll pair. The pages hum with visual energy, from the dotted white lines that follow Granny as she zips about, to the puckishly retro palette (lime green paired with purple, fiery orange with red, and so on) applied in blocky shapes … la Bruce Ingman. Sleepy sheep counting businessmen as they jump over fences and a glimpse of The Avengers on Granny's small black-and-white TV add to the eye-popping fun. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)

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