Thursday, 27 October 2016

Grandparents ROCK and we'd be lost without them - a ReadItTorial

Once again, half term is here and as working parents both my wife and I are hugely, HUGELY grateful for our parents stepping in to look after Charlotte while she's off school.

In fact we'd be utterly lost without them, and we both know this. Children's books trumpet just how special grandparents are, loud and proud and we always make a beeline for books that celebrate the groovyness, wisdom and seemingly endless energy that grandparents have.

For example Shirley Hughes' sublime "Alfie and Grandma" - Alfie goes to stay with Grandma at her gorgeous cottage. They're wonderful friends and embark on lots of adventures together, rescuing lost pets and stomping through the mud. There's always a grand time to be had. Shirley's book reminds me of staying with my own Nan when I was a short-trousered tousled little fellah a bit like Alfie himself, so books like this are lovely to share with Charlotte - completely idyllic.

We also love "Grandma" by Jessica Shepherd. This is sometimes a bit of a tough read, we lost our own Nan to dementia a couple of years ago and there's still a huge hole in our lives left by this amazing and inspirational woman.

Jessica thoughtfully and sensitively handles the subject with aplomb, and in particular underlines that Grandma is still Grandma, and still well loved.

It really is a beautiful and heart-wrenching book and it's not exactly a huge surprise that it was one of our Book of the Week choices (click through the link for the full review).

Of course, Grandads also get a look in - and along similar lines to Jessica's book there's also the brilliant "Really and Truly" by Emilie Rivard and Anne-Claire Delisle...

The story of a much-loved Grandad, "Really and Truly" once again handles the subject of dementia in a thoughtful and actually quite a hopeful way.

As the story progresses, young Charlie watches his once imaginative and quite mischievous Grandad slide further into decline. But with patience and a lot of love, Charlie once again sees a bright spark of recognition in Grandad as he tells him the sort of tall tale that Grandad once loved to spin himself.

Our review (and the book itself) came along at the time we were watching both of Charlotte's great grandmas succumb to this horrible disease but like Charlie, there were golden moments when Great Grandma and Great Nan showed the same spark of life, of recognition and of delight when they were having a good day and could recognise us on visits.

Lifting the mood slightly, two books by Harriet Ziefert and Amanda Haley celebrate the sort of japes and adventures Charlotte will undoubtedly have been enjoying with her Grandad and Grandma this week...

"40 uses for a Grandpa" and "41 Uses for a Grandma" are brilliantly fun, and of course every parent will be all too familiar with what it's like when you pick the kids up from Grandma and Grandad's house and they're sugar-fuelled hyper-energetic bundles of manic energy and joy.

These books are hilarious and amusing and we love the sheer enjoyment of having a good giggle with them as we read through.

It's no surprise that so many children's books centre around grandparents and these are always the sort of stories that are great to snuggle down with when your little ones are missing their GGs.

Above all else, and if they do sneak onto the blog to see what we're up to, we're so lucky, so honoured, and so glad to have Grandma and Grandad, and Nanny & Dodo in Charlotte's life. She loves spending time with you and we know she'll be looking forward to the next holidays to roll around double-quick! Thank you so much for all you do!