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The Grannyman
Cover of The Grannyman
The Grannyman
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Simon is a very old cat. He has had a wonderful life chasing butterflies, eating houseplants, and even playing the piano. His family adores him and they do everything they can to keep him comfortable. Now that he is old, Simon feels useless. Then one day his family drops something small and soft on his tummy-a tiny kitten! There is so much the kitten needs to learn about the world, and Simon is happy to teach him. Suddenly Simon has a lot to do!
Simon is a very old cat. He has had a wonderful life chasing butterflies, eating houseplants, and even playing the piano. His family adores him and they do everything they can to keep him comfortable. Now that he is old, Simon feels useless. Then one day his family drops something small and soft on his tummy-a tiny kitten! There is so much the kitten needs to learn about the world, and Simon is happy to teach him. Suddenly Simon has a lot to do!
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 30, 1999
    The Siamese cat Simon may be getting on in years ("With the exception of his nose, most of his parts had stopped working long ago"), but this beloved family pet is enjoying a comfortable retirement. He spends his days dreaming of his long and happy life ("full of mice, full of hisses, full of hugs, and full of kisses"), and his adoring family carts him around in a baby stroller and buys a bib to catch the toothless puss's dribbles. But the geriatric cat's sedate golden years dramatically transform when a kitten arrives. Simon's tender care of his perky charge earns him a new name: the Grannyman. Schachner's (I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie) affectionate prose inspires a series of softly shaded pastel portraits of the title character. With his lopsided ears, huge blue eyes and quizzical expression, the creaky Simon is a fetching fellow. The visual riffs on the text will strike a chord of recognition with cat lovers everywhere; for instance, a quartet of images exhibits Simon enjoying the "heat treatments" his family provides (basking under a lampshade and on a windowsill, sprawled on a radiator and a stovetop). This story of old age revered and rejuvenated is a pleasure from the ends of its whiskers to the tip of its tail. Ages 3-8.

  • Library Journal

    November 1, 1999
    K-Gr 2-Blind, deaf, and extremely arthritic, Simon, an elderly Siamese cat, is ready to call it quits after a long and happy life of furniture scratching, plant pruning, and mouse catching. Despite his family's deep love (they even submitted to "stinky old cat breath" in their faces when Simon chose to share their beds), his independent spirit becomes depressed as he needs more and more help in his daily life. Suspecting his decision to give up on life, his family plops a new kitten on his chest, and Simon puts his own worries on the back burner. Rejuvenated, he shows the kitten the facts of life at the milk saucer and the litter box. As his nurturing skills emerge, his loving family nicknames him "the Grannyman." Schachner's warm, emotional text is echoed in her softly colored illustrations, clearly depicting the contrast between joyous young Simon (seen in flashbacks) and his diminished elderly self. Owners of aged pets will surely "Aw!" at Simon's plight and resurrection. An endearingly sentimental tale.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

    Copyright 1999 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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