Sunday 24 February 2013

Granny Grommet and Me

Granny Grommet and Me by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Karen Blair (Walker Books)
HB RRP $ 27.95
ISBN 9789121720161
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This fantastic book is about the value of older people and the things they can share with the younger generation. It is presented through a most delightful and entertaining story. The superlative illustrations by Karen Blair are in complete harmony with the text. They are created by using mixed media comprising of watercolour paintings on paper with chinagraph pencil and acrylic paint.

Four grannies go to the beach, one of them with her grandchild and dog. They are all grommets. They wear wetsuits and caps, and use sunscreen.  Before entering the water with their surf boards, they check for rips. They enjoy themselves in the sun and the surf.

Granny calls to the child to come in. But it is afraid of ‘strange things under the waves’. The child has a small board with which it plays at the water’s edge until something touches its leg. Then out it runs.

When the grommets are finished surfing, they all go to a rock pool. Granny explains that the sea is like a giant rock pool. They don their snorkels and masks and granny confesses to the child that she too was afraid till the other grannies showed her the beauty beneath the waves. The child agrees to lie on granny’s surf board and look through the mask at the glory to be found beneath the water. The child sees the amazing sea life and is enchanted.

There is a list of Granny Grommet’s Beach Tips at the end of the story.

Dianne Wolfer has fifteen books in print with more on the way. She is the author of wonderful books like Lighthorse Boy, the companion book to Lighthouse Girl which won the West Australian Young Reader’s Award, was the CBCA Notable book, and which was Shortlisted for two Premier’s Awards.

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