Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Preschool > The Grinny Granny Donkey review
At a time when bringing stories of laughter, hope, kindness and courage to children seems more important than ever, The Grinny Granny Donkey delivers a heartwarming hug and a dose of laugh-out-loud family fun in honour of grannies everywhere.
The entertaining, tongue-twisting text, accompanied by hilarious illustrations from Katz Cowley, guarantees that this will become a new favourite story book.
The accompanying song can be downloaded or streamed so that little ones can join in.
The Grinny Granny Donkey by Craig Smith is the third book in the Wonky donkey series following The Wonkey Donkey and The Dinky Donkey. Craig Smith has entertained my children for many years with his tongue twister stories and songs and even though they are now in primary school The Grinny Granny Donkey was still a huge hit with them.
The story follows a clanky donkey called Granny who's false teeth keep falling out. Throughout the book you find out more about Granny and the very individual Donkey she is. But at the end the story shows the reason for Grannys grin when granddaughter Dinky and son Wonky turn up. It really shows the love between the family members no matter how different they are.
As per the previous books it is a tongue twisting story that even adults trip up on. The kids think this is hilarious especially when it takes me two or three times to get it correct. Master 9 tries to read a page and ends up in a fit of laughter also stuffing up the twisting words. The illustrations perfectly show the imperfect Granny Donkey in a fun but caring way. I feel the book really catches the 'grandma' persona well and the kids relate to it.
At $22 for a hard cover copy of The Grinny Granny I think its a great buy. Its a book and series that will be loved for generations. It is definitely a favorite in this house and its not restricted to a certain age, people of any age can and will enjoy The Grinny Granny Donkey.
For Miss Four and Mr Two, this book is destined to be one of their favourites. It already had a special connection for them as it is about the baby donkey's granny, and they are close to their own Nana, so they were very happy for little Dinky. They are also familiar with other books in the Wonky Donkey series and already knew Wonky and Dinky, so it was almost like revisiting a special family. Warm fuzzies all round.
Miss Four loved reading the book on her own. With a little practice, she could listen to the song streaming from the internet and turn the pages at the right time. She thought the illustrations were great; because they were so clear and matched the words, she had very little difficulty coordinating the two. Of course, this will also help her to recognise some of the words - although I wonder if "Hee Haw" is the first word she figures out!
When Mr Two heard the song, he started to move along with the music. The song alternated between country-style singing and speaking; each new section started with music and then moved to storytelling mode, so he would dance to the first part then stop and listen to the second. There was also lots of grinning as he mimicked Granny's open mouth when she played her banjo or just smiled to show her false teeth. Having teeth that can fall out is inherently funny, of course, and a great source of amusement for all small children.
The structure of the text is a challenge to the reader, whether the adult who is reading the book to the child, or the child who is trying to sing along to the music. The tongue-twisters get longer and longer with each new page, and by the time I reached the grinny granny part I admit to giving up. I am still unable to do it accurately at any speed. But of course that is all part of the fun.
I love the message of these books as they normalise disability and other things that make people different. Wonky Donkey has only three legs, and Granny has false teeth that will not stay in place - and she also wears glasses! Only Dinky has a body that is intact, but it is clear from the last picture in the book that she and her father and grandmother all love one another unconditionally. I also like the way that Granny is portrayed as being quite a character with her designer glasses, funny hat complete with holes for her ears, costume jewellery, and thistle decoration below one ear. Not to mention the butterfly and other small creatures who are always in attendance. An eccentric granny indeed. What fun!
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