Paris Hop!: An A is for Aging Book Review

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In Paris Hop! (MB Publishing 2014, ages 4-7) delight in all the distractions Paris offers as a grandmother and granddaughter explore it en route to the “tippity-top” of the Eiffel Tower. What begins as a race to reach it within the hour quickly becomes a meandering  immersion into the many pleasures of that lovely city in spring time.

Naturally the pair is first tempted off their path by baked goods at a boulangerie.

“But…smell the air—

Croissants! Ẻclairs!

Baguettes with apple butter…”

French words are sprinkled throughout and explained in a glossary (from Au revoir to Voilἁ) at the beginning of this charming picture book.

boulangerie

Illustrations by Renẻe Andriani show this grandmother ready for anything in her Capri pants and sandals—she leads her granddaughter from painters to puppet shows, from river boat rides to Notre Dame, from the Mona Lisa to modeling high fashion together in a boutique.

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The population of Paris is shown as relatively diverse ethnically and luckily also lacking in age stereotypes. Adventures in Paree look oh so tempting in these playful pictures.

Paris Hop! highlights the happiness of special times with a grandparent. This granddaughter revels in the multitude of joyous surprises provided by her vital gray haired grandma—a terrific way to show kids how love of live continues into our later years.

The lively rhyming text by author Margie Blumberg matches the energy of this intergenerational duo and draws us along at a rapid pace.

“You have the print?

Okay, let’s sprint…

When I say ‘three,’ we’ll race!”

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The two finally reach the Eiffel Tower at sunset, worried that their many delicious diversions have caused them to miss the beautiful city spread out for their viewing. But of course, instead, they are treated to the City of Light all atwinkle below. “Bonne nuit, ‘Paree’…”

The Benefits of Grandparenting

Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Girls and The Wonder of Boys, has written another book of interest– The Wonder of Aging: a new approach to embracing life after fifty. He discusses the “wonderful and liberating task of grandparenting.”

     “New scientific research is fascinating in this regard: the actions of grandparenting stimulate brain centers and create neurogenesis in verbal, emotive, and memory centers in particular.”

“…psychologists Ed Diener and Robert Sussman…have found that the kind of social connection that grandparenting provides stimulates what are now called, in common language, ‘our happy hormones’…”

My Teacher by James Ransome

My Teacher by James Ransome

And, to add to the good news—if we are not grandparents, these exciting benefits can be ours if we involve ourselves with the children of others—perhaps through volunteer work, mentoring, or interaction with “adopted” grandchildren.

The travel to Paris is optional, but most certainly appealing!

Review copy and photos courtesy of MB Publishing.

Do you know of any picture books featuring older adults volunteering? I’m on the hunt!

40501ct10-11.tifRead about a grandma and grandson exploring the Big Apple in Nana in the City and the simple joys shared at a grandparent’s home in The Hello, Goodbye Window.

Explore lesser known parts of Paris via The Travel Oyster blog in this fascinating post.

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