Sunday, August 12, 2018

Bottomless Joy! Grandma's Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Today my Grandma Mimi is coming to visit.

When Mimi comes over, she always has new treasures to share.

And no matter what, they come from inside her purse.

Grandma Mimi believes in being prepared for any exigency.

"You never know what you'll want to have with you!" Mimi says.

Mimi's got it all in that purse. It's kind of like a magical cornucopia--a regular Santa Claus's pack to her granddaughter!

She has a little mirror to make sure she looks her best, and extra earrings, just in case she feels like fancying up her look during the day. She's got her "smell-good" spray, some hairpins, the scarf of many uses, Grandfather's coin purse that holds memories as well as nickels, her funny old phone with no photos, just friends' numbers, and, of course, something sweet for those times when you need a treat--like sit-still-at-sermon-time at church.

But today, her granddaughter finds something else in there--a purse of her own. Joyfully, she wraps herself in Grandma's scarf, dons her big sunglasses and beads, and struts her stuff with her new carryall.

Grandmas come in all sorts and so do their purses. Some are sleek clutches, and some are stylish leather handbags with intricate closings. Some are businesslike briefcases, some are youthful knapsacks of the fringed persuasion. Some are recklessly stuffed reticules or totes, not unlike a hobo's sack, bristling with knitting needles or a laptop, a box of dog treats, or sweets for the sweet. No matter what kind it is, Grandma's purse is almost magical, because it is as big as her heart, in Vanessa Brantley-Newton's Grandma's Purse (Random House, 2018). Brantley-Newton's salute to grandmothers celebrates all the wisdom and the ways that grandparents enrich a child's life, while her fantastically ebullient illustrations bespeak the joy that grandparents bring.

Says the New York Times Review, "... a tribute to the steadying force of grandparental love in a child's life... No illustrator does clothes, decor, and style better than Brantley-Newton."

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