Granny's Place by Allison Paterson
Ill. by Shane McGrath. Big Sky Publishing. ISBN 9781925275636
(Age: 4-6) Highly recommended. Themes: Grandparents; Family Life; Australia - Social Life and Customs - Twentieth Century. Granny's Place is a nostalgic story that celebrates the loving relationship between a young girl and her grandparents. Memorable visits to the family farm are beautifully described; the simple joys of bouncing on the springy beds, sharing freshly baked bickies and cakes around the wooden kitchen table and stamping through carpets of pine needles. Packing up the farm and moving to the city after Pa's passing, brings new challenges. When Granny's welcomes the family to her purpose-built red brick bungalow, the mood changes, no pine needles, ducks, hens or geese, no shrieking metal gates. Granny's love is constant, she still bakes for her family and welcomes her grandchildren.
Shane McGrath's engaging illustrations encapsulate rural and city life in the 1960's. The evocative narrative is enlivened by the earthy palette of greens, reds and browns, energetic characters, detailed vignettes and large sweeps of white space that focus the eye. Take time to explore in the old mudbrick farmhouse, there's Pa's World War 1 memorabilia, the old pump organ ready to be played and treasures hidden in old suitcases.
Alison Paterson's sensory descriptions bring these warm memories to life. This is a delightful picture book to share with grandparents and great grandparents. A great resource for the Early Years History and Social Sciences, comparing how family life and places change over time.