Publishing: Roaring Brook, New York, 2011
Description: a great-granchild tells the story of his Grandpa Green, from his birth, catching chicken pox, stealing kisses, and experience in the war to the grandpa he is now. At the end he says that he can’t remember everything now, but the garden remembers it for him, thus the topiaries. This is such a heartwarming story that I almost burst into tears. Illustrations are mostly white and green, but are still enigmatic and help tell the story.
Programming: Time and age are difficult concepts for children. I would start by asking them to talk about their relatives-grandparents, aunts and uncles, even parents, anyone older-and see if they know anything about what their relatives were like when they were little. This story illustrates that all of these people had lives before the children came into existence, and that every person has a story to tell. If this is a class, it would be wonderful to have them ask a relative to tell them a story about their childhood or bring in a picture of a relative when they were young.