Home > Categories > Books > Kids - Junior > Grandpa's Storybook Collection review
This is a new collection which features five hilarious stories about New Zealand's favourite Grandpa. The robust binding ensures that the stories will last another generation of kiwi kids who will love the humour and quirky illustrations. Simple, repetitive language means that they are accessible to children who are just learning to read; younger children will enjoy being read to.
There are five stories in the collection: Grandpa's Slippers, Grandpa's Cardigan, Grandpa's Shorts, Grandpa's Shed, and Grandpa's Cat. They can be read in any order, and each one is just the right length for a bedtime story.
Collections are always fun for children as the stories are not too long and therefore not so challenging. Beginning readers often lack concentration, and there is nothing more daunting than a full length book. At seven, the twins have been reading for some time now and found the narrative well within their capabilities. They took turns reading one story each to their little brother and sister, needing little or no assistance as everyday words are used throughout. The constant word repetition helped too; the younger pair began to join in each time they heard a repeated sentence.
Although the stories are able to be read as standalones, each flows naturally into the next. The slippers and grey cardigan feature prominently in the later stories, having been introduced in the first and second, and the cat which is the main character in the final story has actually been there right from the very first.
As an adult reading these stories for the first time, I was struck by the way that Joy Watson has presented Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa is a born hoarder, careful with his money and reluctant to part with anything if it can possibly be useful. Grandma is more practical, and a bit of a know-all, but she is also very protective of her own space - possibly because Grandpa might rearrange things and add some clutter as well! Everyone knows people like them; both types can be really annoying at times! However, Grandpa and Grandma have a happy relationship and are able to look beyond their little differences.
The children's favourite story was the last; they have several pets and know how contrary some can be. However, having a cat is an interesting experience; they can cuddle it if they are feeling down (if the cat says they can) and talk to it if they want to share a secret (as long as it will stay still long enough to listen). And most of the time cats will get themselves out of trouble as fast as they got into it, just like the cat in the story.
Their mother was impressed with the quality of the binding. Although the book is classified as a paperback, it has a sturdy card cover with an extra flap for strength. Every page is illustrated which meant that Mr Four could "read" the book himself without needing to make sense of the words; the pictures are so detailed that he could follow the story on his own. His absolute favourite was the drawing of Grandpa in his beach shorts displaying his skinny hairy legs, and his second favourite was on the opposite page where he encountered the children wearing similar clothing. Just like Grandpa's!
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