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Sunday, July 26, 2015

The GREAT and the GRAND, written by Benjamin Fox and illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins. Familius LLC, Raincoast. 2015. $22.50 all ages

"The NEW is surrounded
by things to touch.

The OLD is surrounded
by touching things.

The NEW knows softness.

The OLD knows life can
be hard."

Having just taken my only grandchild to the airport after a month long visit, I have a special place in my heart for this truly touching family story. While it is not meant to be a book to read to a young child, it can be shared with older ones. It is certain to have an impact on older generations for its message of hope and renewal.

It is the story of two: a baby and its great-grandfather. Both are preparing to meet for the first time. It appears that they have nothing in common. The baby is new, the great-grandfather is not. The baby has not seen much of the world, the grandfather has seen, perhaps, too much. They are family; that is their connection, and they have much to share.

The tone is tender and quiet. On facing pages, the author compares the lives that the two lead. Each pair of images is sure to inspire memories for those who share it. The circumstances are so different, so poignant in ways that are lovely and sometimes sad. The paintings that accompany the text are full of light, love and anticipation. The events that lead to the two meeting are carefully plotted and make for a very special ending.

"They are the past and the future.
They are family.

Having just met,
each finds the other
not only great, but

Very special!

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