Sleepover: Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney
LLAMA LLAMA, BIG BIG DAY!
IT'S A FIRST--A SPECIAL STAY
WHO WILL TAKE GOOD CARE OF LLAMA?
LLAMA LLAMA'S GRAM AND GRANDPA.
Llama Llama is off to his grandparents' house for a sleepover visit all by himself. He and Mama pack together--some clothes and Llama's pajamas--and put
his bag in the trunk. Llama Llama carefully carries his little Fuzzy Llama to the car himself to sit beside him in the backseat.
Gram and Grampa are waiting when they drive up. They hug Llama Llama a lot. Grandpa takes his bag, and with a last kiss and hug, Mama is off.
Gram takes little Llama into the kitchen for some cookies and milk, and then they go to help him unpack.
WHERE IS FUZZY LLAMA?
Llama Llama bravely says nothing, and Gram and Grandpa smile encouragingly and busily try to divert his attention to some outdoor doings. He climbs up on their big green lawn tractor and pretends to drive it. Gram lets him pull some carrots from the garden and even eat one. Still, little Llama can't help feeling sad about leaving Fuzzy Llama behind. Is Fuzzy Llama feeling alone, too?
Grampa seems to notice Llama Llama's worried look and hustles him down to his workshop. He shows off his tools, and he and little Llama build a small red chair, just the right size for Fuzzy Llama. It's fun, but.... Llama still looks sad.
Then it's time for dinner with Gram and Grampa. Llama Llama eyes what's in the serving bowls.
GRAM'S HOUSE HAS DIFFERENT FOOD.
SOMETHING SQUISHY, SOMETHING STEWED.
LLAMA TRIES IT AND IT'S GOOD!
Keeping things moving, Gram and Grandpa take little Llama outside for a look at the bright stars, and then it's time for Llama Llama's warm bath, toothbrushing and bedtime stories. Llama is quiet, but he can't quite find a smile even for the stories. Gram gives him a long hug and a bed-night kiss, but... oh, dear! What's all this? Is that a tear?
LLAMA LLAMA NEEDS FUZZY NEAR,
BUT FUZZY LLAMA ISN'T HERE.
But it's Grampa Llama to the rescue. He leaves the bedroom, and when he comes back he has something very familiar looking in his arms.
WHEN GRAMPA WAS A LITTLE BOY,
HE ALSO HAD A SPECIAL TOY.
Yes, it's Granda's old fuzzy llama toy, in blue striped pajamas like Llama Llama's, no less, in Anna Dewdey's latest, Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa (Viking Books, 2015), in which her beloved character learns that this is his home... away from home. In their simple way, Dewdney's stories document those preschool milestones with a genuine sweetness that is never saccharine or trite. Dewdney's shrewd use of humor in the illustrations reveal emotions while adding to the fun. Sharp-eyed kids will likely notice Mom's car driving away with the forgotten Fuzzy looking sadly out the rear-view window, and the panel in which Llama Llama, Gram, and Grandpa, realizing the seriousness of the Fuzzy-less bedtime situation, give the reader triple and identical "Uh-Oh!" looks, is a priceless picture book moment.
Every toddler should be lucky enough to know the Llama Llama stories. (See reviews here).