Third-grader Nathaniel has a great-grandfather, Greatpaw, who is a century old. Greatpaw enjoys making chicken salad sandwiches and telling exciting stories about his past, which Nathaniel loves to hear. When Greatpaw becomes discouraged because he can’t find other storytellers his age with whom to swap stories, Nathaniel helps him find one—a 99-year-old woman named Sadie with an equally adventurous past—and the pair entertain not only each other but also Nathaniel and the rest of the neighborhood children.
Greatpaw remembers the early days of aviation and his dreams of having his own plane before he became a farmer. Sadie remembers immigrating as a girl and living in a tenement. Her dream of joining the circus never came true, but she still juggles oranges. Both have white hair, and Greatpaw is bald on top. Although Sadie uses a cane, both are lively and animated, using grand gestures as they tell their tales.
This book depicts a warm relationship between great-grandfather and great-grandson and encourages kids to realize how entertaining the personal histories of older adults can be. Bright watercolor and colored pencil artwork adds to the story’s appeal.