The 'Poo Book' Blog Reviews Finding Granny for Books On Tour
The Book: Finding Granny (picture book)
Author: Kate Simpson
Illustrator: Gwynneth Jones
Published: July 2018 by EK Books
Available at: All good bookstores and ekbooks.org
Hardback RRP: AU$24.99
For more information on blog tours at Books On Tour please visit www.justkidslit.com/books-on-tour.
The Intro: Welcome to the penultimate stop on the Finding Granny #BlogDash for Books on Tour. The ‘Poo Book Blog' is delighted to review this heart-warming picture book, the debut publication for Author and Podcaster, Kate Simpson.
About The Author: Securing your first contract in the world of picture books is no mean feat, and Kate Simpson’s path to publication, proves the pay offs of pitching to publishers at industry events. Since securing her big break at the Kids & YA Festival in 2016, Simpson has immersed herself in the world of children’s books, launching the successful One More Page podcast with writing buddies Nat Amoore and Liz Ledden.
About The Book: Finding Granny had me at love as fierce as a lion Granny. This is the kind of metaphor that stays with you, and immediately makes you think of that nurturing person in your life, who loved you like a lion, when you were just a cub. Next on my list of things I admire about this book is the building sequence of metaphors, painting a picture of a devoted, hands on grandmother, full of life.
Edie’s Granny is a playtime Granny,
a bedtime, story-time pantomime Granny,
an I’m not afraid of some slime Granny.
Avoiding an over-use of hyphenated punctuation, the text caters perfectly to the read-aloud age group, in the uncomplicated stages of early literacy.
Replicating the chorus-like refrain of a song, is a tried and true technique of classic kid lit. Finding Granny is one of those lyrical stories you can read over and over, delighting children who soon learn them off by heart. This is the success of the book for me.
Despite the narrative’s essentially sad premise of an alert, energetic granny falling victim to a debilitating stroke, the narrative avoids falling into over-sentimentality. This is in part due to Simpson’s affirmative use of art therapy to re-bond grandmother and grandchild, but also a testament to the vibrant illustrations and generous use of colour by evocative illustrator, Gwyenneth Jones. The child-friendly depiction of a brain with a band aid is a stand out for me.
Rather than despair, this picture book leaves the reader full of hope and appreciative of the author and illustrator’s faithful adherence to the principles of good picture book making. It is also rewarding to see that Kate Simpson’s impressive pitch at a writer’s festival, lived up to its promise and the spark seen by the panel of publishers.
Recommended For: Here’s my litmus test for Finding Granny. My 5-year-old started interrupting my reading of the book, asking, ‘is this like my grandma?’ Though he has no personal experience of a granny with long, silver hair, nor a granny disabled by a stroke, the characterisation of a love as fierce as a lion granny and a not afraid of some slime granny, resonated with him. Big tick for universal themes, Kate Simpson! Even if a child is unable to relate to the experience of debilitating illness, we would certainly wish that every child could relate to the feeling of being loved by that special person in their lives.
I would highly recommend this layered work of storytelling and illustration, for its intended audience for 4 to 8-year-olds. It is both a flowing and relatable read-a-loud book for children of pre-school years, while meeting the more sophisticated needs of primary students, who can process the deeper issues of the human experience.
Finding GrannyTour Dates: Mon 1st - Sat 7th of July