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Banjo Granny    by Sarah Martin Busse, Jacqueline Briggs Martin & Barry Root order for
Banjo Granny
by Sarah Martin Busse
Order:  USA  Can
Houghton Mifflin, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

We've seen many children's books celebrating the love between parents and their children, but not as many honoring the love between grandparents and their grandchildren. Banjo Granny falls into the latter category and is a welcome addition to children's book collections everywhere.

Bluegrass lovin' Granny is on her way to see her grandson Owen, both of them eagerly anticipating the visit. Granny is carrying a banjo case that contains not just a banjo but other items that prove to be instrumental, so to speak, in getting her there quickly and safely.

The book's lyrical sing-song tone is soothing and contains just enough repetition to hold the interest of young children: 'When Owen's granny heard he was a baby who went wiggly, jiggly, all-around giggly, and tip over tumble for bluegrass music, she packed her banjo in its trusty old case with the taped-up handle. She put on her thousand-mile shoes. And she started to cross one river, one mountain, and a desert.'

The book attempts to bridge the generation gap in that both Banjo Granny and Owen share a love of bluegrass music. The eventual reunion between grandchild and grandparent is sweet, both in pictures and in words.

Speaking of pictures, they are unbelievably well done, with their shadows and expressions and bold colors. When the author and the illustrator are a compatible match, as in this case, it only adds to the charm of the book.

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