________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 13 . . . .March 3, 2006


Grandpa’s Clock.

Rachna Gilmore. Illustrated by Amy Meissner.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2006.
32 pp., cloth, $21.95.
ISBN 1-55143-333-8.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Helen Norrie.

**** /4

Reviewed from f&g’s.



Grandpa's made nineteen clocks since he moved in with us, and I've helped make them all, right from the first one. It was a little curve-top table clock that Grandpa put next to my bed when I was small and I had those nightmares. "Listen", he said, "Just listen to the ticking."

Grandpa's here, tock
All is well, tock.
Grandpa's here. Tock.
All is well, tock.

Soon the nightmares stopped.


This picture storybook is a warm and endearing family story about a little girl, Cayley, who helps her grandfather make clocks. When her grandfather has a heart attack and is taken to the hospital, Cayley misses him terribly and also is afraid that her clock will never be finished. However, she decides to use the same method that her grandpa used when she was afraid of nightmares as a little girl. She puts a clock beside her grandpa's bed and tells him to listen to the steady ticking and know that each stroke is helping him get well. After her grandpa gets home from the hospital, she works on the clock, herself, with her grandpa's instructions until it is finished. Then she says, “Guess it's Aaron's turn next, huh?" (Aaron is her little brother).

internal art     Rachna Gilmore, who lives in Ottawa, manages to create an atmosphere of a close family whose members really care about each other. She was inspired to write this story by her father-in-law who began to make grandfather clocks in his retirement. He checked the details of the clock-making to be sure they were accurate, and children will be intrigued to learn about the pulleys and pendulum, the chains and the weights that make up a grandfather's clock.

     The artist, Amy Meissner, has taken equal care with the illustrations which depict many kinds of grandfather clocks. Her watercolour pictures are large and attractive, done in warm wood-tone colours. Meissner is a Canadian living in Anchorage, AK.

     Preschoolers will enjoy having this book read to them while beginning readers should be able to read it themselves.

Highly Recommended.

Helen Norrie is a former teacher-librarian who writes a regular column, “Children's Books,” for the Winnipeg Free Press.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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