Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson & Qin Leng (illustrator)

My heart fills with ache and joy each time I read this book. It's the poignant story of two best friends, Harry who is 4 3/4, and Walter who is 92 1/2. They live next-door and do all kinds of things together. They ride their tractors and play croquet.

They grow and eat tomatoes.

In the fall the two of them rake and jump in leaves.

In the winter they figure out how to be together and build snowmen.

Life is bliss.

Then one day Harry's parents decide to move. Harry is heartbroken. Walter is heartbroken. Walter tells Harry, "Things change. I might have to move someday too." They are both too sad to say a final goodbye.

At his new home Harry tries to do all those things that he and Walter once did together, but the joy has disappeared. 

To find out how these two best pals can find a way to be together again, you will have to read the book.

This book. This book of a not so unlikely friendship has me longing for grandchildren. It leaves me nostalgic for my own special relationships with my own grandmothers and older aunts. It's sure to resonate with all those children who have their own special friendships with older people. I know my mother would have loved this. 

Kathy Stinson's delightfully simple text is accompanied by illustrations created by Qin Leng. (I adore her work) Together, these two have created a book that will pull at your heartstrings.

Margaret Mead once said something to the effect that a you can tell a society is nearing it's end when it separates the old and the young. (sorry, I couldn't find the exact quote) This book reveals why keeping them together is so important. You must purchase it. 


  1. Oh, this does sound like a touching book. I was just talking to a friend today about how wonderful it would be to connect children with older people more often (for both). Thanks for sharing this book. I will seek it out!

    1. Thanks Jeanne, it's the perfect book to show why this is important for both of these groups.