Grammy Said "No!"

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Grandmothers always say, "Yes," to everything, right? Not this Grammy! When asked if pickles and raisins can be added to a peanut butter sandwich, at first Grammy says, "No!" but then she wonders, "Why not? That might be good!" When asked if it's okay to play outside when it's raining, Grammy says, "No!" but then agrees it is fun to get wet as long as everyone stays safe. When asked if the swing set can be painted six different colors, Grammy says, "No!" but then decides it might be pretty. In this delightful tale, Grammy soon realizes that sometimes "No!" may not be the best response and sometimes it is the perfect response.


Lucy Geddes has always made books and storytelling a major part of her life, whether through teaching in the classroom for 33 years, reading to her children, or creating stories with her grandchildren. She and her husband live in New Hampshire where she enjoys swimming, kayaking, biking, cross-country skiing, traveling, sewing, and, of course, reading and writing. She is currently publishing her third children's book.


The US Review of Books
Book review by Jonah Meyer

"You can’t put pickles, chocolate, pretzels, olives, chips, cheese, and raisins in a peanut butter sandwich!"

Sometimes there are reasons Grandma has to say "no," such as in matters of safety. Other times, when the initial answer is "no," Grammy then reconsiders. "Why not?" she thinks to herself. No harm will be done, and it might even be fun. In this delightful children's picture book, that's precisely what happens in a series of events, including the creative culinary decision to embellish a basic peanut butter sandwich with such outlandish ingredients as olives and raisins. The little boy and girl laugh, realizing it is quite delicious as they eat with Grammy.

Playing outside in the rain at first elicits a "no" from Grammy, but after her thinking, "Why not?" the three again enjoy silly fun. And when the children want to paint the swing set six different colors, Grammy says "no," but then reconsiders, declaring, "This is going to look so pretty." However, Grammy is quite firm in her "no" when it comes to the children going swimming without her, explaining they must never swim without an adult present. And so the three enjoy the pool together.

Geddes' fun and brightly illustrated book is a fantastic selection to read with any group of small children. One can imagine the kids saying together in chorus, "Grammy says, 'No!'" The important lesson imparted is that while sometimes it is okay to do silly things—with the permission of a parent or grandparent—there are other times when the answer must be "no." These would include any situations involving their safety, health, and wellbeing. But no doubt about it, Grammy finds creative and slightly unusual ways to have fun with her grandbabies. Featured at the book's end is a photograph of Geddes with the motley-colored swing set her real-life grandchildren painted, for which they developed the decorative color scheme.

Pacific Book Review
Reviewed by: Barbara Miller

“No means No,” but not all of the time. “No” can be “Why Not?” This is the lesson learned in author Lucy Geddes’ book Grammy Said, “No!”

“No” to painting the backyard play structure 6 different colors, “No” to playing outside in the rain, “No” to putting pickles, cheese, pretzels and olives on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – all turn into a “Why not?” within the beautifully illustrated pages of this fun children’s book. As it turns out, playing in the rain is fun, and those sandwiches tasted good. But most impressively - the colorful painting of the play structure is revealed at the end of the book to have really happened – so it can be said that part of this book, at least, is based on a true story.

There are some rules which “No” means “No” – at least until some safety precautions are taken. For example: “No” to a bike ramp until knee pads and a helmet are put on; “No” to climbing tall trees when shorter apple trees can be climbed while gathering fruit; and “No” to going swimming, that is unless an adult is with you. So, in essence, children will learn the degrees of “No.”

The illustration-laden book tells the story with the short text interwoven to guide the many lessons. The artist, Schenker De Leon did a marvelous job showcasing the eyes of the characters, bringing out the emotions from that of a stern warning, to happiness and fun depending on what the situations called for.

This book is a wonderful way to bring to children the discipline of paying attention to the “No” of an adult. It can mean not at all, like never; or not yet, as in let’s do something to play it safe. These qualifications of the word “No” need to be explained providing the reasoning and caution children expect from their elders. In fact, a Grammy is always supposed to say yes, but this book explains the reasons why this Grammy is a “No!” for good reason.

Grammy Said, “No!” is because Grammy loves you.

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Exhibited At: International book fairs