Review Blog

May 09 2013

Grumpy Grandpa by Kate Forsyth

cover image

Ill. by Annie White. Scholastic, 2013. ISBN 978 1 74283 175 6
(Age: 4+) Warmly recommended. Picture book. Grandparents. Grandpa frightens the girl when she visits the old man with her mother. He always asks the same thing, 'are you grizzling or are you singing?' which intimidates her even more. He takes her into the garden where he loves to dig, but she likes to be clean and tidy, while he prefers to dig the dirt, and get all sweaty and muddy. Once inside he sleeps in his arm chair but the noise of his snoring rattles the windows and causes the chimney to smoke. When he wakes he is even grumpier but in answering 'O'm singing' to his question asked yet again, a broad smile breaks out on his face and all is happy.
A beautifully deft rhyming story of a young girl's fears at her Grandfather's house, of his different ways of doing things and his invasive questioning. She takes a while to get used to this grumpy man but once she answers his strange question, they become the best of friends and all fear is gone. The wonderful illustrations fill each page with soft washes of colour and the little girl is shown in various awkward positions on each double page: blown away by his sneeze, coughing at the smoke form the chimney, baulking a the offered worm, shuddering at the mud on her skirt, all giving sorry impressions of her day with Grandpa until the last pages where they find some common ground. A wonderful tale of acceptance, of finding an ally, of the difference between the age groups, this will be most useful in classrooms where grandparents are being discussed.
Fran Knight

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