Grandpa’s Tall Tales: The Shrinking Gate is a delightful short story of slightly over 1200 words and a handful of original paintings about Grandpa, his cat, Bubbacakes and their adventure through the shrinking gate into the world of insects and scary animals. Grandpa’s invention, the shrinking gate, reduces anything that goes through it to the size of a ladybug. Bubbacakes goes through first, and not because she wants to. Grandpa also makes the leap, and he does learn a lot—quickly. He learns that a really small person wearing a red shirt with black spots looks exactly like a lady bug. He learns that legs the size of nose hairs can’t run very fast, and he learns that mice, birds, and ants all eat things that look like ladybugs. Grandpa’s infinitely deep bucket of good luck gets him out of jam after jam until he finally makes it home. You and your child will love the twist at the end, and you will both be left wondering just exactly what Grandpa will do about the huge new problem that he has created. That answer, however, will be left to yet another tall tale.
The series of Grandpa’s Tall Tales is written for smaller children who love a good story. They remain delightfully humorous, wonderfully adventurous and especially visual, yet they are written to accommodate the short attention spans of younger children or to fill smaller blocks of a parent’s available time. In addition, all of the stories from Grandpa’s Tall Tales are written to be a vehicle for building vocabulary and to inspire a free flow of imagination. For example, how will Grandpa solve the huge problem at the end of this story? This topic, alone, could generate another hour of imaginative discussion between you and your child, and that just has to be a good thing.