Review Blog

Jun 29 2015

The memory shed by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

cover image

Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus Books, Scholastic, 2015. ISBN 9781742990347
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes, Memories, Grandparents. This wonderful series of books from Omnibus will tickle the hearts of the readers as they delve into the relationship between a child and her grandmother. Annie is staying with her grandmother to help clean out the old shed at the bottom of the garden. Grandma wants to sell the stuff at a garage sale, and clean the rest out so she can replace the old building. During the night Annie is worried by a creaking noise and gets up to investigate. She finds Grandma is up as well, and the two become a little scared when they think the shed has come closer to the house. Next day they begin to clear the shed and Grandma finds that some of the things in the shed remind her of things long past. Her old hat was made by her Gran, the bike was one she rode as a younger woman, and the old tin with the dog on its lid was one where she kept her harmonica, given to her by her father. Each of the things they find recalls some memories from Grandma's past and in recalling these, she encloses Annie in her family's history. Her husband had built the shed and memories of him are wrapped up in it. No wonder it creaks at night, telling the two not to demolish it. Both come to see just how valuable the shed is and the story underscores the importance of family, history, memories and relics of the past.
Illustrated by Craig Smith and his decidedly recognisable drawings, they form a perfect partnership with the story. The story is divided into five chapters of about ten pages each making it an ideal early chapter book for beginning readers and those who find reading a little more difficult. The clear larger print add to its use as an ideal early book.
Two others in the series are also available, Going bush with Grandpa, and One rule for Jack, and reflect the same high standard as this one.
Fran Knight

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