Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter

The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter. Kimberly Willis Holt. Illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. 2010. October 2010. Henry Holt. 32 pages.

One day the Clearwater family decided to head out to where the sun sets--that place called the West. With Ma by his side, Pa drove the wagon. The older Clearwater children walked while Little Critter and Granny rode in the back.

I'm not sure what I think about The Adventures of Granny Clearwater & Little Critter. I like the title very much--that's one of the reasons why I picked it up in the first place. I also really liked the cover. It just looked like a fun book. A book with potential to be quite funny. And I did enjoy the illustrations. They were very fun, very comical in an over-the-top way. In other words, they suited the book well.

The premise is silly--but simple. On the trip West, Granny and Little Critter get separated from the rest of the family. These two then have adventures--and misadventures--as they continue the journey West all the while hoping to reunite with the family.

I was a little disappointed with the book--to be honest. It wasn't as funny as I'd hoped. And it was wordy--very text-heavy! Not the best choice for a read-aloud--at least not for preschoolers.

What should you expect? A silly book, an outlandish book, in a tall-tale kind of way. It's rich in language which would make it a better match for older readers. For example,
Each day Granny and Little Critter walked across that leave-your-mouth-scorching-dry prairie heading west. They got so thirsty Granny had to do a rainwater dance taught to her by her grandpappy with itchy feet. Why that desert had never seen such a downpour. 
I think I was disappointed because I was expecting something different. I was expecting something for younger readers. But I think it would work well for the right audience.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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