cover image Jenny and the Grand Old Great-Aunts

Jenny and the Grand Old Great-Aunts

Colby F. Rodowsky. Bradbury Press, $12.95 (39pp) ISBN 978-0-02-777785-7

Mama and Papa drop their daughter Jenny off at the stately Victorian home of ``the aunts,'' with whom she is spending a Saturday afternoon. It is her first solo visit, and she is uneasy. In the parlor, the adults sit very still, hands folded in their laps: ``Everybody spoke in whispers, and the clock ticked and tocked, and after a very long time it chimed, and after another long time it chimed again.'' The quiet is shattered when Aunt Clare reveals to Jenny the cache of treasures in the attic: dress-up clothes and toys that entertained her father many years before. Rodowsky's ( Julie's Daughter ; The Gathering Room ) hushed prose is as soothing as the soft pastels of Roman's color-pencil and watercolor drawings. Both underscore the contrast between the aunts' somber parlor and the rich diversions of the attic above--two very different places, yet equally untouched by time. This comforting story deftly conveys the strength of the bond that can exist between the old and the young--and suggests that oldsters often have a young spirit, if one knows how to seek it out. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)