'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 26 March 2012

Review: Grandpa Green

Tracking down a copy of Grandpa Green became a bit of an obsession with me last year. I finally managed to snaffle a copy in an out-of-the-way country bookstore, of all places - and the wait was well worth it.

Lane Smith is one of my favourite authors, and - after the international success of It's A Book, I was kind of dumbfounded as to why Grandpa Green was so hard to find. Smith's work is so consistently good - and covetable - it should be found on every bookshelf in every bookstore; I love his work that much.

In Grandpa Green, we meet a young lad who narrates the life of his grandfather - a life of ups and downs, of the regular and the extraordinary. A life of love and war and exceptional beauty and the everyday.

The story itself is concise is image-driven, as is Smith's way, but the intrinsic detail, the pull between the present and the past is strong, represented in both image and text. As is also Smith's way, the emotional punches of a life well-lived are as verdant as the leafy images that portray them.
Grandpa Green encompass all that I love about children's picture books. The images are truly stunning - retro and monochromatic, which I adore. Spindly line drawings and topiary creations that flow from page to page in a seamless timeline are just breathtaking, making this book as much about the art as the storyline.

Tender, subtle, beautiful and funny, children NEED to see this book. Adults, too.

Title: Grandpa Green
Author/Illustrator: Lane Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, $23.95 RRP
Publication Date: November 2011
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781596436077
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book