Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg

Tea with Grandpa   As I quickly ran into our library last week, this book sitting on top of the children's shelves caught my eye.  Since our 3 (almost 4) year old granddaughter was coming for the weekend, I thought this would be a great book to share. I turned around and checked it out, knowing that sometime during the weekend the doll dishes would be out. Grandpa (my hubby) made a kid's kitchen out of a revamped desk/bookcase unit and all the grandkids like to play restaurant with it.  (See older posting for photos of the kitchen).  Lizzie is still young enough that she sometimes simply wants to play tea party.

She did get time to play in the kitchen over the weekend -- with her cousins, then with her mom, and later with me.  I'm not sure if she ever did have "tea" with grandpa, but we did find time to read this cute book.  Every day at half past three the grandpa and the little girl have afternoon tea, a loving ritual filled with love and laughter.  The soft illustrations clearly show that both enjoy their time together.  Seems to be a simple story of an age old tradition of a grandparent making a special spot in their day for  a youngster.  Only when I reached near the end of the book and the little girl says she can't reach her muffin across the table to the grandpa, did I realize that each single page spread shows only one person at a time, either the girl or the grandpa.  Then clearly on the last page, as the little girl reminds her grandpa that they will meet again tomorrow at half past three do you see that she is at the table in her house talking to her grandpa via video chat as he sits at his table far away.  I smiled as Lizzie came to this page because we've been video chatting (skyping) with her since she was two!
We've never played any games with her via skype, but certainly could try.  Like many other grandparents across the world, video chatting is one technology that actually brings loved ones closer.  Barney Saltzberg has done a wonderful job of capturing that closeness with his simple rhyme and pastel drawings.  If you have a little one that you chat with, maybe you can find this book and share it -- or just share some tea across the distance.

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