Great-grandfather claims to have been young a hundred years ago, and when he tells the story of his childhood to his great-grandson, he gently stretches the truth to delight the boy. Great-grandfather wore overalls with buckles at the shoulders and leather high-topped shoes that supposedly took a hundred years to lace. Great-grandfather had a dog with three names — Ted, Boots, and Pal — but great-grandfather called his dog Three Names, to which the boy responds, "That”s four names."
On the first day of school, Three Names rides with Great-grandfather and joins the class. The one-room schoolhouse comes vividly to life, as do the other old-time prairie settings. Patricia MacLachlan offers readers a skillfully rendered sensual experience, from the description of the smells of a country barn to the way a fall wind snaps the sheets on the clothesline dry. Three Names and Great-grandfather have lots of quiet, prairie adventures, and Alexander Pertzoff”s delicate, luminous watercolors pay fine tribute to the lyrical text. Great-grandfather”s wholesome memories evoke a lovely nostalgia for a simpler time.