Saturday, 13 June 2015

Grandma's House by Alice Melvin

Alice Melvin has a new book out.

My daughter and I came to love Alice Melvin via one of her earlier books The High StreetAt the beginning of this year I was looking around for some inspiring children's books. I decided to contact Alice personally. I was in luck. Alice advised me that her next book Grandma's House was in the works.

Grandma's House has been eagerly anticipated

Last week I received an email informing me that our pre-ordered copy was on its way. I became very hopeful every time the postman stopped.

A perfect spot for reading

Well, we've had it for a few days now. Miss 3 got comfortable on her bed one afternoon before dinner and opened the brown cardboard envelope. Big smiles! The boys looked on while I read it aloud including the last page detailing the background of the story. Master 5 then hopped up and went back to his Lego, Master 1 stayed close to me and Miss 3 went back to the beginning and began to read it to herself, remembering - to my amazement - most of the words: a great indicator of a book that truly engages the child. After dinner before I put our youngest to bed, I checked on the two older children, they were both tucked up in bed and Master 5 was reading it out aloud for both of them to enjoy. Such a peaceful scene.

At the front gate ...

Grandma's House is a story of a little girl visiting her Grandma one afternoon. It begins with the girl at the garden fence. Attached to the garden gate is a blue helium balloon which the little girl is looking at quizzically. In she goes through the first of many doors. We get to know Grandma, her age and her tastes, through the interiors, ornaments and household items. And we get to know what interests the little girl by her chosen activities, problem solving and adventure. But...where is Grandma?

"She needs to put both feet on the top step" suggests Miss 3

Alice's well-known and well-loved illustration style is detailed and exquisite throughout. She has won awards.

The text has rhythm and is easy to read, but also allows the reader to pause and look closely at the different aspects on each page.

The varying foldout flaps keeps young readers interested and intrigued, which way will they open next?

Grandma's House is a wonderful book in which to play "I Spy", or a counting activity for a particular object - we counted the clocks and then the rugs. I try to encourage the children to find more detail in things, to look for repetition or themes, and this is a great book for that.

It is a perfect gift for an early or a young reader, or an adult who delights in the visual.

If you missed my earlier review of The High Street you can catch up here

To see more of Alice's work you can view her website here

Happy reading!

R&R reading and relaxing :)

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