cover image Tom


Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22417-1

The newest addition to this prolific author's library of autobiographical picture books celebrates his childhood relationship with his grandfather--``We're named after each other, Tommy. That's why I want you to call me Tom instead of Grandpa.'' Together they read the Sunday comics, share stories, or tend to the butcher section of Tom's store. While the actual story line is minimal--Tommy gets in trouble for scaring classmates with a chicken-foot prank Tom taught him--the fans who cherish these reminiscences (adults as well as children) will welcome this skillful evocation of an all-important intergenerational bond. Touches of old-world humor and wisdom add sparkle to the tale, in which dePaola's idiosyncratic, apple-cheeked characters are rendered in bright, sunny colors. The sepia-toned portraits, simulating pictures from a scrapbook, that adorn the jacket and title page enhance the book's nostalgic tone. Ages 4-8. (Feb. )