Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Granny Grommet and Me is a children’s picture book written by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Karen Blair and published by Walker Books Australia (2013.)
From the publisher:
A story that many young reluctant swimmers will identify with.
My granny and her friends go to the beach, and I go too. When they hit the surf, they duck and dive and twist and turn. It looks like lots of fun. But I don t want to go in the water. There are strange things under the waves.
Going to the beach is lots of fun. But the ocean is huge and deep, with slimy things that brush your legs, and fins with teeth. Is it any wonder some little people prefer to stay on the sand? If they’re lucky, they might have a Granny Grommet who gently encourages them into the water and reveals its delights. Blair enhances these positives with colourful, textural illustrations and lovely happy smiles on the ocean-lovers’ faces.
I like books that help kids deal with fears. Wolfer has written a story that’s gentle and matter-of-fact, and shows children one reluctant young swimmer’s journey. It’s great to think of all the discussion that may arise from sharing this story. Perhaps it will result in resolutions being made to try a different way of looking at something scary. It was wonderful to see Granny and the other Grommets sharing their love of the surf with a child without any of the pressure some adults use.
Granny Grommet and Me has been short-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards in the Early Childhood Category. It has also been awarded the coveted Book Chook Feather of Approval!
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