In Grandma's Attic and More Stories from Grandma's Attic
by Arleta Richardson
Copyrights 1974 and 1979
David C. Cook
Both 144 pages in length
I requested In Grandma's Attic (not realizing--because I skimmed the information sent to me--that I was getting two books) for a FirstWild review on a bit of a whim. I love children's books for all ages; they tend to be pleasant, relaxing reads or adventurous, magical, whimsical. In Grandma's Attic and More Stories from Grandma's Attic consist of very clean, short, relaxing and humorous tales. Each story begins with an introduction that leads into "Grandma" telling about something that happened during her childhood.
If you read the free chapter from In Grandma's Attic , you'll see what I mean -- and I highly recommend that you do. Arleta Richardson grew up with her grandmother and Grandma was a storyteller, so the stories are fictionalized versions of the tales her grandma told. Since the books were copyrighted in the Seventies and Richardson is now deceased, her grandmother's childhood on a farm in Michigan happened quite some time ago. To be honest, they read a bit like short episodes of Little House on the Prairie -- very homey, with lots of praying and talking about what God would want a troublesome child to do. There's always a moral lesson.
As I was reading these two books, I found myself smiling a lot, laughing occasionally and wishing I lived in a simpler time. My mother read to me from a book called Little Visits with God, when I was young -- one story, each night, unless she was feeling particularly generous. I think the Grandma's Attic books lend themselves well to nightly reading with a prayer (although there are no prayers written in the book, unlike Little Visits with God). Although the age range is stated as 9-12, I'm sure they'd work for reading to a younger child -- as young as 4-6, depending on how long they're able to sit still and listen -- if you don't have a child ready for middle readers. Both books are the same in style and length.
The bottom line:
Highly recommended. I love the cozy atmosphere, crazy antics and moral lessons in the Grandma's Attic books, but I'm particularly fond of the farm setting reminiscent of Laura Ingalls-Wilder's Little House on the Prairie and "Grandma" Mabel's loving family. Sweet, clean fun for many ages.
A note on my copy of More Stories from Grandma's Attic (Book Two):
There is a major printing error in my copy of the second book, so if you buy Book Two, check Chapter 15. Pages 128 and 130 are switched. The wrong text was printed, although the page numbers are not out of order -- meaning, they simply printed the text from page 130 on page 128. You can flip ahead to 130 and then back to 128 to read the entire story, if you're willing, but for an older child who reads on his or her own, that error may be confusing.