Far away Granny by Harriet Cuming. Illus. by Angela Perrini

cover image

In these times of Covid, many Grans and Grandads are far away, if not in the literal sense, then behind masks and regulations, unable to visit their grandchildren. But in this story, the child and her gran become adept at using their iPads to stay in touch, an electronic device that brings many together, even those for whom the machine was once a mystery.

But sometimes the girl slips through the screen and sends time with Far Away Granny, eats ice cream, particularly chocolate and mint green.

This charming picture book underscores the value of grandparents in children’s lives, concentrating on the communication between them even though far distant from each other. They are pictured using the computer, iPad, mobile phone and postcards, but now and again imagination reigns supreme as she slips through the screen and into Granny’s life.

The rich illustrations take us to the heart of the connection with grandparents, doing things together: visiting art galleries, flying in hot air ballooning, playing together in the playground and on a roller coaster, swimming, going to the theatre and cinema. But in this story many of these activities are done using social media, with Far Away Granny just too far away to do things together. Readers will enjoy deciding which are events done together or in the fantasy world the girl creates.

When they cannot visit each other they can do some facetime on their iPad, showing each other what they are eating or drawing or doing. In this way they keep in touch, but best of all is when the girl slips through the screen.

Readers will love the image of the child slipping through the screen, seeing her Granny and being with her, knowing the her Gran is never really far away.

Themes: Grandparents, Technology, Communication, Family, Travel, Imagination.

Fran Knight