Sonderbooks Stand-out

Sonderbooks Book Review of

Grandpa for Sale

by Vicki Sansum and Dotti Enderle

illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry


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Grandpa for Sale

by Vicki Sansum and Dotti Enderle
illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry

Review posted February 11, 2010.
Flashlight Press, New York, 2007. 32 pages.
Starred Review
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2007: #5 Picture Books

Here's another book I've been meaning to review for a very long time. Vicki Sansum, one of the authors, is my good friend and writing critique group buddy. We met at a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference in Paris. I saw this book when she first wrote it, and rejoiced with her when it was published. The result is a charming story about how Grandpas are more fun than anything.

Lizzie is watching her mother's antique shop for a few minutes, while Grandpa is sleeping on a Louis XVI settee. A rich, snooty lady with a poodle breezes in and starts purchasing antiques. Then she sees Grandpa:

Oh, my stars! Look at this! I don't think I've ever seen one for sale. How much?

Once Lizzie figures out the lady wants to buy Grandpa, she tells her he is not for sale. The lady says everyone has a price. She offers more and more money.

With each offer, Lizzie imagines the wonderful things she can buy, kid-friendly ideas like an ice cream shop or amusement park. But with each one, she realizes that they wouldn't be much fun if Grandpa weren't there to share them with her.

Finally, there's a lovely showdown with the two glaring at each other.

Lizzie took a deep breath and leaned in too. "Mrs. Larchmont," she announced, "not everyone has a price, and not everything is for sale."

The artist does a fine job using color contrasted with black and white to illustrate what Lizzie is imagining and all that Grandpa would do if he were there, too.

The nice silly idea of buying a Grandpa makes a fun and sweet story to share with a child. Truly, not everyone has a price.