Fast Grandma by Margaret Clark

cover image

Ill. by Craig Smith. Aussie Nibbles. Puffin, 2011. ISBN 9780143305705.
(Age 6-9) Recommended. Another of the great Aussie Nibbles series, Fast Grandma presents a wonderful non-stereotypical grandmother for young children to think about.
When mum and dad go away to look after Aunt Faye, who is ill, Grandma comes to stay to mind Evie and Matthew. She is the fast grandma, who comes by a fast plane bringing gifts, and when she finds the fridge bare, she speeds around the supermarket buying her version of fast food. She goes so fast that Evie and Matthew have a difficult time keeping up with her. She rock climbs, goes skateboarding and even rides the Tunnel of Terror while all the other grandmothers sit and sip tea. The children are a bit embarrassed because she tells everyone that she gets her energy from eating red and green vegetables, but when she rescues a little boy they are really proud of her.
I raced through this story, delighting in the way that Clark depicted Fast Grandma as someone who loves to do all sorts of physical things. Children will enjoy the humour of being told how red and green vegetables will make you fast and I was fascinated by the energy of the grandmother.
Illustrated with detailed and amusing black line drawings by the talented Mr Smith, children will love to pour over the pictures showing the antics that grandma gets up to. They will get a laugh a minute from Smith's exquisitely funny expressions on the faces of the children and bystanders and enjoy looking at this unique family.
This is a delightful and entertaining book that is ideal for young children making the transition from picture books to independent reading. Best of all, it is a lot of fun to read.
Pat Pledger