Quiet time with my Seeya by Dinalie Dabarera
Reading the author’s poignant story at the end of the book sets the tone for this wonderful tale of generations being together despite a gap in their ability to verbally communicate.
The child and her grandfather spend a lot of quiet time together. Not having a common language, they communicate thorough sound, smells and feelings, sight, touch and taste. They read to each other, knowing the other person can only understand a little of what is being read, they walk in the garden, watering the pots and flowers, looking at the bugs they find, wondering at the birds in the trees, splash through the waves, ride a bike, laugh and play, woof and howl like a dog, cook their favourite food and play on the beach.
All the wonderful times spent with grandparents is portrayed in this lovely warm book, showing the love that exists between children and their grandparents, even though there is no common language.
They communicate through the things they do together, watching each other, being together, sitting on Seeya’s shoulders or his knees, hugging him, burying him with sand, sometimes making a mess together, but always with the two together. It may be a quiet time but it is a time of love and companionship and this wonderful feeling shines thorough on each page.
Children will love reading this book, seeing time spent with a grandfather, comparing this with their own grandparents and the time spent with them: looking a the obstacles that may be in place keeping them apart, wondering how to overcome these impediments. Children will love seeing what the grandfather and his granddaughter do together, comparing it with their own activities, adding to the things they may be planning to do on the weekend.
The soft pencil illustrations adds a wonderful tone to the book, underscoring the place each person has in the heart of the other, reinforcing the place that they have in each other’s hearts, despite not being able to speak the same language.
There are ways to communicate without language being spoken and this could lead on to discussions about how we communicate without words.
Themes: Language, Communication, ASLAN, Body language, Grandfathers, Granddaughters, Family.