Project Description



by Jay O’Callahan
illustrated by Debrah Santini

Grand Ma Mere loves two things best in all the world: her tulips and her grandson, Pierre. Everyone can see why she loves her flowers, for hers is one of the loveliest gardens in all of Paris. But Pierre is another matter. Pierre is a trickster.

Every spring and fall when Pierre visits, Grand Ma Mere’s household staff panics, knowing that wherever Pierre goes, practical jokes and mayhem follow. In all of his years as a prankster, Pierre has never dared to play a trick on his very grand Grand Ma Mere. But this year is different.

Jay O’Callahan’s engaging story with a playful twist ending is complemented by Debrah Santini’s elegant illustrations, making this an amusing book of fun surprises.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-134-0
Publication Date: 9/1/1996
Page Count: 32
Size: 8-1/2″ x 11-1/2″
Age Range: 6 – 10
Language: English
AR Level: 4.8
F&P: GRL M, Gr 2, Genre RF
Themes: Cause and Effect, Flowers, Grandparents, Pranks


“O’Callahan displays the same affinity for the music of language and the inner life of children as in his riveting performances… with subdued hues and elongated figures, Santini’s romantic watercolors infused with humor are reminiscent of Anderson Medalist Lisbeth Zwerger. An unusual, enchanting story.” ―Booklist

“A neat and amusing denoument. Santini sets a 1920s mood with her muted, slightly satirical watercolors and deftly connects the foreground action with garden, street or other rooms with strong, diagonally organized perspectives. Story and art thus jointly contribute to this engaging period piece with a touch of slapstick.”Publishers Weekly

“Santini deftly illustrates this satisfying comeuppance in soft pencil and watercolor, amusingly satirizing the events and glorying in the elegance of Grand ma Mere’s m,nage.” Kirkus Reviews

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

Jay O’Callahan tours the world, performing at festivals and in theaters. His stories have been heard on National Public Radio, The Voice of America, and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. Audio recordings of his stories have won a number of awards, including the ALA Carnegie Award, the Indie Award, the National Educational Film Festival Award, and the Parents’ Choice Award, which he has received four times. O’Callahan lives in Massachusetts. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Debrah Santini has illustrated a number of children’s books. She holds an MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is a faculty member of the art department at West Georgia College.