9/2012: I still love this book, and Grandma Dowdel still puts me in mind of my own irascible grandmother who gets more legendary the longer she's been dead. I like the episodic form of this book, though I think the sequel is better. 2000ish: I adored this book. My own grandmother has much in common with Joey's, and Peck is a lovely wordsmith to boot. Fun, warm, sweet but never gooey.