Big Papa and the Time Machine
Big Papa and the Time Machine
Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover21.30
Publisher's Hardcover15.29

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Annotation: Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.
Catalog Number: #202924
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Illustrator: Evans, Shane,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-246331-4 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6946-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-246331-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6946-4
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 29 cm
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This imaginative and inventive tale walks a child through African American history by way of his grandfather's past. When the nameless child expresses fear about going to school for the first time, his grandfather takes the opportunity to share the story of his own past, turning his classic car into a time machine and using instances of trial and struggle during his lifetime to demonstrate what true bravery looks like. Tying in his personal story of leaving the South as a teenager to find work in the North, meeting his wife at a jazz club, and raising his grandson, the grandfather tells such a moving story that the grandson eventually realizes that courage means being scared but carrying on with the business of growth and change regardless. Each page, illustrated using mixed media, alkyd paint, and digital media tools, glows with warm, translucent tones that nicely tie the eras together and cultivate an embracing, loving atmosphere throughout. An excellent choice for reading with grandparents or for a first-day-of-school storytime.
Horn Book
As Big Papa drives his (unnamed) grandson to school, he learns that the child would rather not go because he's scared. The solution? Big Papa's "time machine"--visually represented by a big-bodied classic car--which gives the child insights into his grandfather's own life and fears. Big Papa's stories take the two back to 1952, as he is leaving his Little Rock home to make his way in the world. To 1955, as he works the perilous job of brick mason on Chicago skyscrapers. To 1957, as he summons up the nerve to dance with the woman who will ultimately become the child's Nana. With each story he tells, his grandson asks about his fears ("Was you scared?"). In response, the older man dispenses down-home wisdom, empowering the youth with every word ("Sometimes you gotta lose the life you have if you ever gonna find the one you want") and with the refrain "That's called being brave." When Big Papa relates his last two memories/fears, it's up to his grandson to remind him about the definition of bravery. Bernstrom's colloquial text captures the warm relationship between Big Papa and his grandson. Punctuated by brilliant yellows and blues, Evans's illustrations of swirling stars and outlined memories evoke the ethereal quality of the journey through time.
Publishers Weekly
Big Papa takes his grandchild back in time to see what bravery looks like in this tender story by Bernstrom (Gator, Gator, Gator!). School-shy, the baseball cap-wearing grandchild admits, -I-m scared I-ll miss you.- Big Papa-s majestic vintage auto takes them into the past-Chicago and Little Rock, Ark., to moments in the 1940s-1980s. In 1952, they see a lady holding a young man -tighter than tight.- -Big Papa? That you?- his grandchild says, -You left your mama!- -Yes,- Big Papa says. He was afraid, -but sometimes you gotta lose the life you have if you ever gonna find the one you want.- Evans (Hands Up!) draws Big Papa at the wheel, a large, reassuring presence, as his grandchild gazes out at the past. Wide angles give the spreads visual power, while soft pastels convey the journey-s otherworldly atmosphere and the stories- intimacy. When the grandchild sees a grown man snatch a paper out of young Big Papa-s hands in 1941--See this cotton, and see that field?- the man tells young Big Papa. -Look at it. This is your school--the grandchild understands why his grand-
School Library Journal Starred Review
K-Gr 3 Bernstrom's ( One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree ) latest book digs deep, with a story about a child facing fears by discovering a grandfather's difficult past. An unnamed, ungendered child is nervous about starting school, so they're taken for a ride with Big Papa in his old blue car. As they move through the grandfather's past, leaving the South in the 1950's as a young man and eventually becoming the caregiver of the child, it is revealed that Big Papa was never able to attend school. In the first-person narrative, written largely in dialogue that features African American Vernacular English, the child poses questions, and the knowing grandparent responds with sage, though not preachy, one-liners. "Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna find out what you made of." The big and bold mixed-media illustrations in Evans's signature style animate the story in a joyous way that uplifts the text. Big Papa is a bearded, brown-skinned man, wearing overalls and a bow tie, and the child resembles the character in Evans's Mixed Me . The notion of time-travel appears fluid; the events of the past occur outside of the car in muted colors. A powerful penultimate spread shows Big Papa's stoic face, a lone teardrop only visible through the rear view mirror. The underlying thread is an encouraging message of facing one's fear, and a constant presence of familial love. VERDICT A unique perspective in a beautifully executed book about starting school. A must-purchase. Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (1/1/20)
ALA Booklist (12/1/19)
Horn Book (4/1/20)
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 743
Reading Level: 2.5
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.5 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 509053 / grade: Lower Grades

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom ( One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree ) and Shane Evans ( Chocolate Me ) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford. A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn't reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine--a 1952 Ford--back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him. Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family's experience in 20th-century black America. "Wasn't you scared?" "Oh, I was scared," Big Papa said. "Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That's called being brave."

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