I am not totally sure where this book came from. But it is sweet with fabulous watercolor illustrations, so I am just glad it is here.
Every summer Stina visited her grandfather in his small grey house on an island.
This is a book about Scandinavia, grandfathers, granddaughters, summertime, and friends.
This, as you may have guessed, is Stina--pleased as punch about her latest find from the ocean. I love the worried hippo.
She thinks her crate will work as a boat, but clearly it doesn't. I like the fact that she tells her grandfather it would make a great boat and he just says, "Indeed." and lets her try it out herself rather than delving into a long explanation of floating and engineering.
The hippo was right to be worried.
Did you notice Grandfather and his charming table? What is it about Scandinavians and their decorating oozing charm in the simplest ways?
One day, Grandfather tells Stina it is his good friend Stretchit's birthday.
I love Stina poking through her treasures. By the gigantic picture window overlooking the sea, of course.
Getting ready for Stretchit's birthday celebration. Stina offers her not-quite-good-enough-for-a-boat box to carry everything in.
"Stretchit says that he lives on God's thumb," said Grandfather. "That's his house. It's the farthest one out on the point. Stretchit says it's like living in Paradise."
At first, they couldn't find Stretchit. But then they discovered him huddled under his blankets.
Honey sandwiches would cheer anyone up!
They do the trick! Stretchit was moping in bed because he thought no one remembered his birthday.
Stretchit is a volatile fellow.
They sit down to eat honey sandwiches and listen to Stretchit's excessively tall tales about life on the high seas.
I love grandfather calmly sipping his tea and reaching for another honey sandwich while Stretchit goes into some sort of gymnastics while telling his story.
Grandfather says, "Indeed." a lot while Stretchit is telling this story. He manages to interject Indeed into the largest holes in Stretchit's story.
Stina is entranced.
Grandfather's calm is broken by Stretchit spilling the tea and honey sandwiches by hurling himself onto the table to escape from sharks.
Grandfather remembers his flask of tea and calmly refills while Stetchit brings his story home with an energetic punch or two.
Before they leave, Stretchit asks them to sing him a birthday lullaby. I love Stina singing away. And Stretchit's big nose.
And the washtub that Stretchit gives Stina. The very one he climbed into with his very last strength to escape the sharks. The one that carried him from the Pacific Ocean all the way to God's thumb in Sweden.
Stina trying out the tub. Hippo is still worried.
But Stina never could understand how Stretchit had managed to fit in it.
A marvelous book about a childhood summer spent in an idyllic place.