cover image Good Times on Grandfather Mountain

Good Times on Grandfather Mountain

Jacqueline Briggs Martin. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05977-7

Old Washburn is a combination of Pollyanna and Job in this rustic narrative, which exudes a singular down-home style and flavor. Claiming that he can ``whittle my way out of any trouble,'' the bearded craftsman lives to prove it as one by one his animals--led by a bovine beauty named Blanche Wisconsin--all abandon him; his crops fall prey to locusts and raccoons. Remaining optimistic would be difficult for some, but Old Washburn decides to make corncob whistles out of the crop remnants. Finally alone and homeless on his mountain, the old-timer reflects that, with no chores to tend to, ``I'll whittle and glue and make myself a fancy fiddle.'' The sweet music produced entices not only his neighbors (who set about helping their friend), but even Blanche and her errant animal companions. Employing unusual perspectives and extreme closeups to impressive effect, Gaber's watercolors imbue this cautionary country tale with a folksy flavor that suggests good times indeed. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)