|Big Papa and the time machine|
Author: Bernstrom, Daniel
A grandfather and grandson travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford, zipping in and out of African American historical time periods, to discover the true meaning of being brave.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: .5 Quiz: 509053
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/19)
School Library Journal (01/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2019 This imaginative and inventive tale walks a child through African American history by way of his grandfather’s past. When the nameless child expresses fear about going to school for the first time, his grandfather takes the opportunity to share the story of his own past, turning his classic car into a time machine and using instances of trial and struggle during his lifetime to demonstrate what true bravery looks like. Tying in his personal story of leaving the South as a teenager to find work in the North, meeting his wife at a jazz club, and raising his grandson, the grandfather tells such a moving story that the grandson eventually realizes that courage means being scared but carrying on with the business of growth and change regardless. Each page, illustrated using mixed media, alkyd paint, and digital media tools, glows with warm, translucent tones that nicely tie the eras together and cultivate an embracing, loving atmosphere throughout. An excellent choice for reading with grandparents or for a first-day-of-school storytime. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2020 K-Gr 3—Bernstrom's (One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree) latest book digs deep, with a story about a child facing fears by discovering a grandfather's difficult past. An unnamed, ungendered child is nervous about starting school, so they're taken for a ride with Big Papa in his old blue car. As they move through the grandfather's past, leaving the South in the 1950's as a young man and eventually becoming the caregiver of the child, it is revealed that Big Papa was never able to attend school. In the first-person narrative, written largely in dialogue that features African American Vernacular English, the child poses questions, and the knowing grandparent responds with sage, though not preachy, one-liners. "Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna find out what you made of." The big and bold mixed-media illustrations in Evans's signature style animate the story in a joyous way that uplifts the text. Big Papa is a bearded, brown-skinned man, wearing overalls and a bow tie, and the child resembles the character in Evans's Mixed Me. The notion of time-travel appears fluid; the events of the past occur outside of the car in muted colors. A powerful penultimate spread shows Big Papa's stoic face, a lone teardrop only visible through the rear view mirror. The underlying thread is an encouraging message of facing one's fear, and a constant presence of familial love. VERDICT A unique perspective in a beautifully executed book about starting school. A must-purchase.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.