Friday, July 8, 2016

Grandma’s Telescope
by Kristen Zajac
Photos by Brooke Hamilton

Kristen Zajac’s book “Grandma’s Telescope,” illustrated with photos by Brooke Hamilton, is a true reflection of our times. The story opens with Grandma taking her three grandchildren for a walk in the park. Their father lost his job, resulting in osing their house, friends, even their dog. The family had to move in with Grandma and Grandpa in the country. The kids aren’t used to country life. They miss their friends, their school, their home, their dog, their old life. Grandma has an idea that will help the kids let go of the pain of their losses—by writing them on paper, folding them into paper boats, and watching their losses sail away.

The family enjoys a campfire with s’mores and hot dogs at a surprise overnight camping outing where Grandma shares her telescope. It opens up one of the joys of country life, star gazing without all the city lights. The kids come to realize that you can’t always see things clearly and that you have to have patience. They reassure each other that in time Dad will get another job and things will all work out. The next day on their way back through the park to Grandma’s house, the kids have an even better idea to acknowledge their blessings now and in the future.

This is a good book for any family who’s struggling with loss and change, such as a parent losing a job, divorce and separation, or a move that forces everyone to find new friends, new schools, and new routines. It shows how important family is for help and support in tough times. This book reminds us to name and count our blessings. The photo illustrations by Brooke Hamilton put faces to the names in the story and help us better visualize what happens. This uplifting book is recommended for teachers, school libraries, school counselors, and for children ages 6 to 9.

Information on author Kristen Zajac is at

Reviewed by:
Penelope Anne Cole
Multi-Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew, Magical Mea,
Magical Mea Goes to School, Magical Max and Magical Mickey, and
Magical Max and Magical Mickey’s Big Surprise
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Grandma's Telescope, losses, family, job loss, sharing, helping, star gazing, dealing with loss and change, Kristen Zajac, Brooke Hamilton


  1. Penny, thanks for this review. Kristen and Brook have hit on a situation that is very familiar to many families these day. I'm sure it will be an inspiration to all the kids who read it.

    1. Thanks so much Barbara. I appreciate your support and comments.