Where is Grandpa? This question haunts a young boy on the day his grandpa dies. Grandpa had been so richly present in so many places — at the tree house, at the waterfall, at the door ready to carve pumpkins. It’s hard to imagine life without him. Yet now he seems very far away indeed.
As the boy remembers Grandpa with his family, he discovers a surprising answer: Grandpa, perhaps, is closer to home than anyone ever realized.
In this deeply moving tale, the poetic words of T. A. Barron and the luminous illustrations of Chris K. Soentpiet remind us all that a family’s sorrow can be shared — and that even in the greatest loss, love can still be found.
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“One of the most outstanding children’s books of 2000.”
— Peggy Beck
New Jersey Educational Media Association’s Booktalk
“Here is a poignant, touching, and spiritually evocative tale. I heartily recommend it to families everywhere.”
— Robert Coles, M.D.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Children of Crisis and The Spiritual Life of Children
“The universality of the response to the child’s query of ‘Where Is Grandpa?’ makes this book appropriate for people of all belief systems. The staff within our hospice program has found this to be a most valuable aid in helping children understand and find peace in the loss of a loved one. I only wish that such a book had been available when my children were struggling with the death of their dear grandmother.”
— Connie Holden, Executive Director Hospice of Boulder County
“How do grandchildren (or adult children) deal with a beloved grandparent’s death? The Barron family, like many of us, find comfort in recalling special times — Grandpa’s pumpkin-carving marathon, finding a nest of raccoons in a giant tree trunk, a waterfall that Grandpa called ‘liquid light,’ a three-day horseshoe contest. But where is Grandpa now? The grieving father tells his son that Grandpa is ‘any place where people who love each other have spent time together,’ like up at that waterfall or even in the tree house. And then the boy knows ‘it might be all right now’ to go to those special places he’d shared when his grandfather was still alive.”
— Claire Martin, The Denver Post
“A gentle story of a boy’s grief when his beloved grandfather dies… A helpful introduction to death and the grieving process.”
— Virginia Golodetz, School Library Journal
“Barron’s young adult novels often use magic and the supernatural as a way of explaining and demanding respect for nature. In this touching story, Barron uses nature as a way of helping to explain the life cycle. When a young boy’s grandfather dies, his family shares stories and memories of him. Grandpa loved nature and during hikes to waterfalls and climbing expeditions, he taught this love to his family. The boy decides that for Grandpa, heaven is a world of nature they shared. Enriched by vibrant plays of light and color, the illustrations of mountains, waterfalls, and trees are stunning.”
“Although geared to the very young child, this is a book that will touch the heart of any reader. A little boy has a close relationship with his grandpa that is ended with the old man’s sudden death. As the family tries to cope with the loss that touches all of them, the little one asks where his grandpa is now, and the answer is given with a wisdom that illustrates eloquently why the kingdom of God belongs to those with children’s hearts. If you are struggling with a loss, this book will touch your heart and provide a bit of comfort, even if you are much older than the hero.”
— Huntress Reviews