cover image Up the Tracks to Grandma's

Up the Tracks to Grandma's

Judith Hendershot, Judy Hendershot. Random House Books for Young Readers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-679-81964-6

Like Hendershot and Allen's previous collaboration, In Coal Country, this nostalgic reminiscence of the coal-mining region of Ohio in the 1940s brims with warmth and love. ``When I go to Grandma's,'' says the child narrator, ``I walk the railroad tracks from town.'' The girl and her grandmother spend their days together: they weed the garden, kill a chicken for Grandma's soup pot (which ``is never empty''), pick asters and daisies, fill the coal chute from Grandma's ``coal mine in her backyard.'' But when Grandma goes away to help the injured Aunt Katy, the girl is lonely. ``There is more than the smell of chicken soup missing,'' she says, but she tends things on her own until Grandma returns. Allen's ( On Granddaddy's Farm ) scumbled pastels, like slightly faded photographs, feature an idyllic and peaceful countryside, a strong grandmother who seems equally at ease in blue-flowered hat and daisy-filled apron as in coal-miner's overalls and boots, and a heroine who is never without her hair bow. Both text and art are low-key and quiet, portraying a tidy, bygone world where memory, like the sunshine, is golden. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)