Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In Grandma's Attic and More Stories from Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson

In Grandma's Attic and More Stories from Grandma's Attic
by Arleta Richardson
Copyrights 1974 and 1979
David C. Cook
Ages 9-12
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.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I love the sound of these books, and think I know just the two kids that I would give them to. It sounds like they are excellent reads, and I just love the illustrations as well. You wrote a wonderful and very persuasive review on them, and now I am off to find them!

  2. This is the second positive review I have seen of these books today. I will have to check them out!

  3. Anonymous11:27 AM

    These books sound absolutely fabulous, especially for younger children - my niece is coming for a month-long stay soon and I'm always looking for new things to keep her interested in reading right before bed. I also LOVE Little House and, while some may find it dull or proselytizing, I'm always up for a nice, compact little story with a homey feel and a moral lesson. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Zibilee,

    I completely forgot to mention the illustrations!! They are really cute. As I was reading the two books, I thought of my niece, who is . . . I think 7 years old. She's a very sharp little girl and I know she would have easily been able to sit still for several stories in a row, when I saw her last year. So, I can imagine a little girl enjoying them for a long time -- from "being read to" to "reading on my own" stage. Thanks for the nice compliment on my review!


    I absolutely loved these books. I'm going to hate to part with them, but I think they need a little girl to love them, so I may drag them along the next time I see my nieces.


    That sounds like an absolutely perfect excuse to buy copies of these books!! I don't know -- some people might find them a little preachy, which is why I mentioned that they do mention God and prayer a lot. I think of that as a good thing, of course, but not everyone feels that way. I was thinking the same thing -- perfect to read to my nieces! I'll see them, this summer, so I'll drag the books along when I do. The stories really are so nice and short that I think they'd make good bedtime reads, even for wiggly little ones. I'm sure I would have loved them as a little girl.

  5. I see you're reading Sarum by Rutherfurd. I read that chunkster the spring before my first (and only!) trip to England. Love, love, love that novel!! It was a great thrill to visit so many places that were mentioned, including Salisbury Cathedral, Bath and Stonehenge. Hmmm, wonder if I could find the book on audio...

  6. Les,

    Yep! I haven't gotten very far -- need to work on that. I've had Sarum and London on my shelf for years, but they intimidated me. Now, I feel compelled to read Sarum. I have 2 more tours in the next week (one is tomorrow and I'm only on page 50 - eeks) so they'll have priority, but I'm longing for a lazy day to sink my teeth into it! :)

  7. Sounds like a really sweet series. I'll have to look for those!

    Life by Candlelight

  8. They're very sweet, Amy. I think you'd love them. The latter two will be released in July, so there will be 4 in all.

  9. In Grandma's Attic books would make the perfect gift to share with your mom, sibling or grand children.


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