Books & Literature

Book Review: When Granny Came to Stay, by Alice Pung, illustrated by Soweol Han

CHILDREN’S BOOK: Everything changes when Granny comes to stay.She doesn’t drive, she cooks strange foods and she thinks Destroyer Discs are just toys!But when Granny finally leaves, will things go back to the way they were?

A great first novel/chapter book for the early reader about family and unconditional love.

When Granny Came to Stay is one of the first two books to be published in the Our Stories series by Randa Abdel-Fattah, which celebrates Australia’s multicultural society with authors and illustrators from a diverse range of backgrounds. Two more books in the series will be published in August 2022.

Alice Pung is a Melbourne-based author, who recently published her novel One Hundred Days. When Granny Came to Stay is a celebration of family, unconditional love and accepting differences.

When Granny arrives from China to stay with the family, things are a bit different. Pangzi has to share his bedroom with her, the food in his lunchbox is different and he desperately wants a brand-new real Destroyer Disc. Granny tries to solve the problem but nothing is good enough.

Large print, black-and-white illustrations, and seven chapters will make the early reader feel like they are reading a more “grown up” story. The front cover illustration suggests to the reader that Pungzi is not very happy to have Granny quite so close!

At the end of the book, there is a clear procedure about how to make a spinning top—very easy to follow for any young child plus a great introduction to procedural writing. There are even some extra ideas which suggest experimenting to make it even better. This then takes the child from the world of literacy to the world of science.

When Granny Came to Stay teaches us that we don’t always appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Pan McMillan Australia
Released: April 2022
RRP: $12.99

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