cover image William and the Good Old Days

William and the Good Old Days

Eloise Greenfield. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021093-9

Once again Greenfield displays commendable sensitivity in this story about an African American boy who must cope with a beloved grandmother's illness. William reminisces about the ``good old days'' before Grandma got sick and lost her sight. He longs for the times at Grandma's restaurant--a nurturing world full of loving family and friends--``where all those happy people -sounds would make my food taste extra, extra good.'' Eventually William begins to focus on the ``good new days,'' planning how Grandma can help him plant flowers despite her blindness. Greenfield captures not only the language of a child but also a credible reaction to the decline of a grandparent: anger, sadness, compassion and, ideally, the courage to accept and move forward. As in the author and artist's Night on Neighborhood Street , the text fits hand-in-glove with Gil-christ's paintings, equally rich in emotion and in tenderness for their subjects, their compositions delicately juxtaposing William's everyday circumstances and those he yearns for. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)