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Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Larry is a little lamb with a larger-than-life grandmother. She talks loudly, carries a heavy sewing machine, and has big plans to take Larry to Tanzania and the South Seas when he grows up. She even has a secret handshake. It’s all too much for shy little Larry—until a summer storm blows through the Lambs’ valley, and Larry finds an unlikely hero in his own family.
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Oh, the secret feelings we have of embarrassment and impatience with our grandparents! Children may be encouraged to talk about their own secrets about adults in their lives.
Animal characters almost remind me of Richard Scarry, but these are a bit more developed and colorful with softer edges. Each double-page spread has a lot of details, such as a basketball under Larry’s bed, and stitches on the sewing projects done on an old trundle Singer sewing machine. I wonder why they pick up Grammy fro
The “gentle tribute” the publisher references is one of the best things about the book. A lot of Grandparent Books assume a ready-relationship or recommend that a grandparent/grandchild relationship is the most natural assumption in the world. In Grammy Lamby and the Secret Handshake, Larry isn’t so sure about this woman who comes to visit. She’s strange. And you know, Grammy models this gentle persistence wherein she doesn’t push Larry to respond in kind. She will be there for him–and in to his ...more
Dominique St-pierre
Perhaps it's one of those things that many people don't admit to themselves - I really don't like so and so. While I liked the book and I think it could be useful as a teaching tool for kids going through a similar experience, the book lacked a certain communication for me. Maybe I'm thinking too hard about this but shouldn't one of the adults picked up on the fact that Larry was put off so completely by his grandmother? Hmmm....I guess that sometimes things just have a way of working out.
Larry is embarrassed by his grandmother, with her loud hats, loud singing voice, and grand dreams. When she comes to visit, all she ever wants to do is drink hot tea, sew, and tell Larry grand stories. And, her secret handshake....oh boy!

But when a huge storm rolls through the neighborhood, Larry sees another side of grandmother. Her kindness and neighborliness shines through...just enough for Larry to give grandmother a secret handshake of his own.
Larry wasn’t very excited when his grandmother came to visit. She invented a secret handshake for the two of them on the very first time she visited. The three squeezes meant “I love you.” His grandma also loved to talk and sew, and that’s what she did much of the time she spent at their house. When they went to church, Grammy Lamby wore a big hat and sang louder than anyone else. She even had big plans for trips they would take together when Larry was older. But Larry didn’t want to go anywhere ...more
The authors take on an uncomfortable subject that many picture books ignore: Not all children love their grandparents. Sometimes unfamiliar older people are embarassing, scary, or irritating to a young child. While the end is predictable, it should offer encouragement to families that are experiencing similar situations. The illustrated sheep are also very charming.
We have a little lamb who is creeped out by Grandma Lamb. All is well by the end as she helps rebuild their house after a thunderstorm. Huh?

The fact that little ones are not always so, ahem, fond of family members is a great theme for a picture book. Definately not addressed often enough...but this wasn't the one to fill that space.
Larry Lamb is embarrassed by his larger-than-life grandmother, Grammy Lamby. When a big storm hits, he changes his mind when he sees how hard Grammy Lamby works to help repair the town.

Detailed acrylic illustrations beautifully capture the complexity of emotions in this story.
Cat Fithian
I have mixed feelings. The book has a cute ending, and I did say "aww", but I also really believe that grown-ups need to respect the space of children and if they don't wish to be touched, should not touch them. This isn't bad, though, just something to be cautious about.
Sweet picture book about a little lamb who didn't always enjoy when his grandma visited. Her quirky handshake, outlandish clothing, and loud singing at church was a little to much for the young lamb. Like all grandmothers do she slowly grew on him.
Miss Melissa
It is rare to find a picture book that discusses the discomfort or distrust children might feel about visiting relatives they don't see that often. Lovely story about having time to get to know your elders can lead to great friendships.
Larry is a little uncomfortable around his Grammy Lamby. She is loud and embarassing! A solid story and fun pictures make this one good for any reader, but I expect it will work really well for families that have a similar dynamic.
Paul  Hankins
Don't overlook this picture book as a ladder to Sonia Manzano's THE REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO for its depiction of a grandmother that comes to visit that unsettles the narrator.
This book tackles the rarely spoken-of problem of embarrassing relatives and finding a common ground with them.
This one was odd to me. The grandson just sort of seems like a punk, as Grammy Lamby isn't embarrassing or weird.
Adorable book that made me want a secret handsake too!
It was cute, it was just Missing Something.
Edward Sullivan
Grandson bonds with grandma.
Funny, teary, true.
Oct 02, 2012 Marge added it
Shelves: picture-books
grandparent -
Sep 25, 2012 PWRL marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2012-new
Jane marked it as to-read
Dec 29, 2014
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author by this name in the Goodreads data base.

Catherine "Kate" Klise is an American author of children's literature. Many of her books are illustrated by her sister, M. Sarah Klise. Their popular Regarding series is presented in a scrapbook style format, with letters, journal entries, and related ephemera telling the story. She is also known for her picture
More about Kate Klise...
Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road, #1) Regarding the Fountain: A Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks Over My Dead Body (43 Old Cemetery Road, #2) In the Bag Till Death Do Us Bark (43 Old Cemetery Road, #3)

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