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All About Old to Joy 
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Publication Date
September 5, 2023
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About Old to Joy

Joy's Grandmama lives in an old house, on an old street, with old trees and all kinds of old things. And Joy already knows . . . there's no fun in that! 

When young Joy goes to spend the day with Grandmama, she struggles to find beauty in all the old things at Grandmama's house. None of it looks or smells quite the same as it does at home. But as the day passes, Grandmama patiently helps Joy discover how the old ways can bring joy to any heart. Whether it's the swaying of stately trees, bubbles dancing in a sink filled with dishes, the sweet scents of a lovingly tended garden, or the memories found in a room packed with hats - if Joy open's her heart and mind, there is beauty to be found everywhere at Grandmama's house. 

Gorgeous, richly detailed illustrations capture the movement of Joy's feelings of boredom and doubt to awe and appreciation for her Grandmama's joyfulness and way of life. Debut author-illustrator Anita Crawford Clark celebrates her African American lived experience and family heritage in this intergenerational story that is certain to encourage a healthy-aging mindset among readers of all ages and add a spark of joy to any home, classroom, or library setting. A perfect gift for grandparents and grandchildren alike!


ISBN: 9781957655062

An intergenerational story about

appreciating the beauty in ourselves,

the beauty in others, and the beauty all around us

Praise for Old to Joy!


With paintings of home that seem pulled out of a wistful old movie, a nostalgic roadside piece of Americana that will make readers want to enter the pages, Clark sets the stage for homage to old things that should be cherished. Joy's grandmama has "rickety-rockety chairs on a crickety-crockety porch." Joy says, "Old things look funny and smell funny. I don't know how come old people like old things anyway." This child is about to be set straight. Her grandmother points out the songs of the gentle giants, old trees that shelter her house. She washes dishes in the sink, the "old-fashioned" way, and about that package that has arrived from a childhood friend—she's in no hurry to open it up. The two of them "mosey" through the garden and delight in the blossoms (a page of flowers and their meanings is included), and head upstairs, where boxes of hats give way to pretend and a gift for Joy, a hat handed down through generations. The simplicity of the sentiments and the pacing of the book work in lockstep; the generosity of spirit in the grandmother's every gesture flows from Clark's graceful illustrations. This book doesn't make a lesson of growing old, but models living well, and readers will look at their own surroundings with new eyes. VERDICT For shelves about grandparents, family, or on aging, this book takes on the joy of growing old for all ages.—Kimberly Olson Fakih

School Library Journal

Educator Resource Guide

Create Your Own Comic Strip!

Coloring page

Spot 10 Differences Activity Sheet

- E. E. Cummings -

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

Anita Crawford Clark



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