Grandpa and Jake

Viking. Mar. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593404355.
PreS-Gr 2–In this picture book that celebrates libraries and sharing stories, a grandpa and grandson brown bear troop across a town on an outing crowded with animals en route to a surprise destination. Grandpa wants to get Jake out of the house and away from the TV. As they walk through an orchard, past a movie theater, and across a park toward Jake’s mystery treat, he guesses—are they going to the movies? To the beach? On a boat? Grandpa tells Jake that they will see all of these things where they are going, but that they will see them inside. Jake’s excursion turns out to be his first ever trip to the library, where he spends a special afternoon bonding with his grandfather and journeying through stories to all of the places he daydreamed about on the way. At the end of the visit, Grandpa reminds Jake that as long as they take good care of their library books they can borrow them, and the younger bear can’t believe his good fortune. Simple exposition and the suspense of the journey carry the tale along, while Fortenberry’s delicately sketched and colored illustrations depict a festive community of bears, elephants, giraffes, and many more animals living harmoniously and going about their work and play. Each page is overflowing with cheerful details, giving the impression that there are many stories hidden within this one.
VERDICT What educator doesn’t like to see the world of books celebrated and pass that on? This is heartily recommended for young reader collections.

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