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Summary: Grandma Tillie babysits Chloe and Sophie for the night. The girls are surprised to learn she isn't just plain old Grandma Tillie! After she disappears into the closet with her knitting bag she bursts out with the Tilly Vanilly Show, juggling and telling silly jokes. After a conga line to the kitchen, she becomes a silly chef at Chef Silly Tilly's diner; then she's Madame Frilly Tilly, a glamorous hairstylist, to help the girls at bath time. In the end, the girls agree they prefer being put to bed by their own Grandma Tillie. This picture book celebrates family relationships.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with a nearly 3-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: My daughter enjoyed the story, but did not get all of the jokes. It was not one of her favorites. There is a cat in each photo which helped bring her through the story. The story is a little advanced for the stated reading audience. My child followed the story along but she did not have any reaction, it was a lot to take in. She did not get the jokes at the beginning.
Adult Reader Reaction: Grandma looks like Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada," sweeping gray curl and all. It was difficult to reconcile her appearance with a warm and endearing grandmother. I also found the book to be too verbose. That said, the pace and fun of the story led us back for additional reads.
Pros: Grandma Tillie brings everyone along for the fun of an evening at her house!
Cons: This can be a bit of a tongue twister to read out loud. The illustration of the grandmother did not seem to fit her character, though children may not see that.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This book did not become a favorite. A couple of readings are entertaining but I don't see my child wanting to read it over and over into the future.
Educational Themes: Through the pictures, the story can open up a conversation about being sisters. For example, big sister Sophie, the narrator, keeps helping her little sister as the evening moves on.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.