Cover image for The Grannyman
The Grannyman
Schachner, Judith Byron.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Simon the cat is so old that most of his parts have stopped working, but just when he is ready to breathe his last breath, his family brings home a new kitten for him to raise.
Reading Level:
AD 610 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 34576.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 23495 Guided reading level: M.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Simon is a very old cat who's just about ready to give up after a long and fulfilling life. But his family has a creative solution to get rid of Simon's doldrums: a new kitten! The unexpected companion lifts Simon's spirits and gives him lots to do and lots to look forward to. Simon's caring ways with the kitten earn him a nickname--and a place in the hearts of readers of all ages.

Judith Byron Schachner 's inimitable charcoal-and-watercolor pictures capture to expressive perfection the quirks that make cats such delightful, lovable pets and very special family members. A priceless cat's-eye perspective on aging and intergenerational friendship, The Grannyman proves that there is just no limit to the power of love given and received. This is the book for anyone who has ever lived with and loved a cat.

Ms. Schachner has written and illustrated two other books for children, Mr. Emerson's Cook and Willy and May , and she illustrated I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie, by Alison Jackson.

Author Notes

Best known for her Skippyjon Jones series, Judy Schachner has illustrated many of her own stories, including the much-loved Grannyman and its companion book, Bits & Pieces . A #1 New York Times Bestseller, Judy is also known for her spirited reading of the Skippyjon stories, for which she won the first E.B. White Read Aloud Award. She lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-8. Simon the cat is so old that only his sense of smell still serves him, though he remembers his more vital days, when he climbed, clawed, and chewed with energy, and when he helped raise his family's two other "pets," their baby daughters. With humor and an obvious love and appreciation for cats, Schachner depicts a young Simon stalking wildebeest from atop the TV and playing Bach across the piano's keyboard; then she gently shows the aged cat lovingly tucked into the baby stroller, pitied and purposeless--until his concerned family plops a kitten on his upturned belly. Wondering if he still has what it takes to train a new pet, Simon musters his strength to the cause. His gentle caregiving earns him more love and the nickname "Grannyman." Schachner's expressive watercolor-and^-mixed-media artwork mirrors the affection, humor, and warmth of her finely crafted text. Together, art and words describe the ideal relationship between pets and humans--growing up and growing old together with compassion, consideration, and love. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

The Siamese cat Simon may be getting on in years ("With the exception of his nose, most of his parts had stopped working long ago"), but this beloved family pet is enjoying a comfortable retirement. He spends his days dreaming of his long and happy life ("full of mice, full of hisses, full of hugs, and full of kisses"), and his adoring family carts him around in a baby stroller and buys a bib to catch the toothless puss's dribbles. But the geriatric cat's sedate golden years dramatically transform when a kitten arrives. Simon's tender care of his perky charge earns him a new name: the Grannyman. Schachner's (I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie) affectionate prose inspires a series of softly shaded pastel portraits of the title character. With his lopsided ears, huge blue eyes and quizzical expression, the creaky Simon is a fetching fellow. The visual riffs on the text will strike a chord of recognition with cat lovers everywhere; for instance, a quartet of images exhibits Simon enjoying the "heat treatments" his family provides (basking under a lampshade and on a windowsill, sprawled on a radiator and a stovetop). This story of old age revered and rejuvenated is a pleasure from the ends of its whiskers to the tip of its tail. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Blind, deaf, and extremely arthritic, Simon, an elderly Siamese cat, is ready to call it quits after a long and happy life of furniture scratching, plant pruning, and mouse catching. Despite his family's deep love (they even submitted to "stinky old cat breath" in their faces when Simon chose to share their beds), his independent spirit becomes depressed as he needs more and more help in his daily life. Suspecting his decision to give up on life, his family plops a new kitten on his chest, and Simon puts his own worries on the back burner. Rejuvenated, he shows the kitten the facts of life at the milk saucer and the litter box. As his nurturing skills emerge, his loving family nicknames him "the Grannyman." Schachner's warm, emotional text is echoed in her softly colored illustrations, clearly depicting the contrast between joyous young Simon (seen in flashbacks) and his diminished elderly self. Owners of aged pets will surely "Aw!" at Simon's plight and resurrection. An endearingly sentimental tale.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.