Elizabeth Robbins is one of North America's most distinguished still-life artists. She has been featured in national art publications, galleries, and competitions throughout the United States. She resides in Ogden, Utah, and paints regularly in her art gallery, Bella Muse. She is the author of multiple books and DVDs on painting. - Benjamin Fox is a veteran driver with UPS, currently delivering in Centerville, Utah. He's no longer new, but hopes to continue writing for children as he grows old. Benjamin resides with his wife and three sons, "his better 4/5ths," in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Great and the Grand is his first children's book. -
"Follow a new baby and a great-grandfather as they prepare to meet for the first time. A young baby is new to the world. A great-grandfather has already seen so much. They seem vastly different. Yet in fragile, hushed tones, Fox tells of the delicate opposing balance the two create in order to form a family. In stirring side-by-side comparisons, the baby is referred to as 'The New' and the great-grandfather, 'The Old.' In one instance, the cherub tightly grasps a fork with a clenched fist: 'The New holds on'; opposite, the great-grandfather is shown at a grave: 'The Old is learning to let go.' On the train to visit the great-grandfather, the baby stares out the window: 'The New is enchanted by motion.' The great-grandfather, on the other hand, sits on a bench looking to the mountains: 'The Old is soothed by stillness.' Robbins' gorgeous, luminous paintings embolden the purity of the pair, tingeing the story in warm tones of both nostalgia and hope. When the two finally meet, New and Old, all of the differences slip away. They are simply one family. Deeply touching; though the appeal is primarily for adults, it is a quiet story to share across generations."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"As a mother and her son travel to see her elderly father, Fox contrasts the lives of the baby ("The New") and his grandfather ("The Old"). Robbins's realistic paintings highlight happy and somber moments as mother and child make their way and the grandfather awaits their arrival. In one pair of images, the child stabs at his food with a fork ("The New holds on"), while the older man visits a gravestone ("The Old is learning to let go"). Plainspoken about the reality of life's joyful and painful moments, it's a book most likely to find its audience among adult readers. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)"
-- Publishers Weekly
"Benjamin Fox's lovely and poignant book The Great and the Grand lends itself well to bedtime readings. Simple language and Elizabeth Robbins' softly textured, luminous illustrations depict the importance of extended family in a quiet yet meaningful way. Grandparents and parents may find themselves tearing up over this book, but children will enjoy the story and a chance to talk about their own grandparents. The Great and the Grand is a uniquely evocative book of beauty and substance."