A Stopwatch from Grampa

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Member Reviews

I received an advanced reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

This is a beautiful, simple story about a little boy who's grandfather has passed away and left him his stop watch which they used to use to time different things together. The book touches on grief and loss and is beautifully illustrated. 
This is a great book for children experiencing loss to read and share together with a grown up to talk about the story as its read.
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A small child inherits Grampa's stopwatch but longs for his beloved Grampa instead.  Why can't they still play "timing" games together like they used to?  What good is having Grampa's dumb old watch without him?  



Grampa used to time everything with his watch:  how long it took to race to end of the street and back, how long it took to eat a bubblegum ice cream cone and the time it took for Grampa to eat three oatmeal raisin cookies, just to name a few.  The watch feels so empty of feelings and joy without Grampa holding on to it as they played the stopwatch games...together.  

"Now there are no more Grampa minutes, Grampa seconds.
  Time just stops."


The watch is tossed into a dresser drawer and the drawer is closed.  The grieving for Grampa settles in and nothing feels like fun anymore without him.  Time marches on and when the season changes into winter the little boy discovers Grampa's watch buried underneath his sweaters in the drawer.  He picks it up and finds it fits perfectly in his hand and starts clicking the silver button... tick, tick, tick.  He then measures how long it takes for the shadows to move across the room and comes to the realization that the watch sounds just like Grampa.  The rhythmic ticking makes the little boy feel that Grampa is still there with him.   Now HE can become the keeper of the watch and HE can carry on the wonderful tradition of being an extraordinary time keeper himself.   

The illustrations enrich the text greatly and the child is portrayed in a unisex fashion so all children can relate.  The story is simple, gentle and touching. I highly recommend this book.
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A simple and touching story about a child coming up to terms with his/her grandfather passing away. I was very close to my grandfather, so this little book made me feel very emotional.
It is difficult to tell if the child is a boy or a girl, which is great because family love and grief over losing your loved ones is universal. They used to do so many fun things together, timing different activities, and the grandfather was always present. Then one day he wasn't there anymore, and all the things that used to bring the child so much joy and happiness suddenly seem different. With time the child re-discovers the stopwatch. Remembering Grandfather is not as painful as it was, and there so many things to time and appreciate.
The artwork is lovely and simple. It doesn't distract from the story, but rather enhances the emotions the story evokes in the reader.
The topic of loss and grief is difficult to discuss with children, although sooner or later it is necessary to do. This book deals with the subject with great sensitivity and care, and can be very helpful.
Thank you to NetGalley And Kids Can Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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A sweet, simple story about grief and memories after losing a loved one.  This would be a useful book for a child who is in the situation of losing a grandparent or other relative.
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I liked this story and the images were lovely and really suited the story.
The story was a heart-warming one and it dealt with the subject of loss very well.
This is definitely a book I would read to my daughter when we need to cover this subject.
It is 5 stars from me for this one, very highly recommended!
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There is something about children learning to deal with loss that makes an already difficult emotion even harder.

This book dealt with the idea of loss beautifully. The stop watch was perfect in showing how time stops, and picks up again and in times of grief can stop and go at random times.

I really felt for this child who was mourning a loss so deep and hurtful that he didn’t understand. The anger and hurt needed time to be understood.
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A very simply affecting look at junior grief, with a young child mourning their grandfather but reconnecting to valued memories through his legacy of an old-fashioned stopwatch.  Nice design, easy script and a light touch for what could be such a heavy subject make this a winner.
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This is a sweet story about memories and coming to terms with grief.

A child used to play with their grandfather, timing everything with his stopwatch. But now Grampa is gone, and all that's left is the stopwatch. The child doesn't want anything to do with it, and buries it in a drawer. They feel sad, and don't want to do the things that used to make them happy. One day, after some time has passed, they find the stopwatch and start to use it to time things. They remember the fun they had, and use the stopwatch as a way to honour their memory of Grampa.

The story is simple, but poignant. The illustrations, done in a limited colour palette, capture the moods of the main character perfectly. (The narrator is drawn as rather unisex--intentionally, I suspect--so they're easily relatable.)

Overall, this is a nice picture book about grief, in the same vein as My Big, Dumb Invisible Dragon by Angie Lucas or The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden by Heather Smith.
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With simple illustrations this book does what can be very hard to communicate to a youngster. When a girl inherits a cherished stopwatch from her grandpa, she decides if having the stopwatch is a good thing or a bad thing. The memories it brings to her can hurt one day and make her remember happiness the next. With time, we all try to find a way to accept the ones we love have been taken away from us physically but the memories will always find a way to make us smile.
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A Stopwatch from Grampa by Loretta Garbutt is a lovely, simple story that evokes all of the feels.  When Grampa departs unexpectedly one summer, he leaves behind only a stopwatch.  But who wants a stopwatch when you are missing Grampa?  In time, the memories attached to the watch come to the forefront, and a grieving child is warmed by thoughts of happy times shared with a loved one.  Beautifully illustrated by Carmen Mok, this is a story that will introduce the subject of death and loss in a way that is relatable to even the youngest of children.  Recommended.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for this ARC.
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An emotional read about grief and memories of love ones that past away. Beautiful in the arts, the story and the message. very well executed!
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