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The Great and The Grand by Benjamin Fox


Illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins

The Great and the Grand by Benjamin Fox and Illustrated by Elizabeth Robbins

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  • Sunrise brings the new from Slumber
  • The Old prepares for visitors
  • The New is holding on.
  • The Old is learning to let go.
  • Having just met, each finds the other not only Great but Grand. They are family.
Sunrise brings the new from Slumber
Sunrise brings the new from Slumber

"Follow a new baby and a great-grandfather as they prepare to meet for the first time. A young baby is new to the world. A great-grandfather has already seen so much. They seem vastly different. Yet in fragile, hushed tones, Fox tells of the delicate opposing balance the two create in order to form a family. In stirring side-by-side comparisons, the baby is referred to as 'The New' and the great-grandfather, 'The Old.' In one instance, the cherub tightly grasps a fork with a clenched fist: 'The New holds on'; opposite, the great-grandfather is shown at a grave: 'The Old is learning to let go.' On the train to visit the great-grandfather, the baby stares out the window: 'The New is enchanted by motion.' The great-grandfather, on the other hand, sits on a bench looking to the mountains: 'The Old is soothed by stillness.' Robbins' gorgeous, luminous paintings embolden the purity of the pair, tingeing the story in warm tones of both nostalgia and hope. When the two finally meet, New and Old, all of the differences slip away. They are simply one family. Deeply touching; though the appeal is primarily for adults, it is a quiet story to share across generations." - Kirkus Reviews

Illustrating this beautiful book became a labor of love as I laid out the storyboard for this book. I chose to use my stepfather, Ed Bunting as the Great Grandfather and my Niece, Caitlin Robbins and her son, Jack as the mother and the Great Grandson. It was easy to portray the love that this extended family had for each other as Caitlin and Jack lived with Ed during the last year of his life helping care for him. Many of the images are near and dear to our family as my mother and Ed's sweetheart had recently passed away so the illustration of the Great Grandfather standing by the grave is actually of Ed standing next to my mom's grave. Ed died 4 days after seeing the book completed. I hope you enjoy this sweet tender story of love and how we are connected to each other as family. - Elizabeth Robbins

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