The Bottom Line
- Engaging illustrations
- Sprightly text
- Emphasis on imaginative play
- Lots of whimsical touches
- Attractive cover art
- Not widely available in the United States
- Large landscape design
- 28 pages
- From Hardie Grant Egmont
Guide Review - Adventures With Grandpa: One of the Most Captivating Grandpa Books
Rosemary Mastnak's earlier books--2008's Dancing With Grandma and 2009's Cooking With Grandma--focused on female characters. In Adventures With Grandpa she switches to a grandfather and grandson duo, with equally enchanting results.
As with most picture books, the story line is slim. A young boy goes to his grandfather's shed in search of his grandpa and adventure. The cave is a fascinating place: "It's full of this and that. / Forgotten things. / Things he wants to save. / It's like a magic cave!"Among the this and that, grandfather and grandson find the stuff that adventures are made of. A old bathtub becomes a pirate ship. An umbrella becomes the nosecone for a rocket. The final image of the book depicts the pair having tea with Grandma and sharing a high five for the adventures of the day.
As with her previous books, Mastnak's animal characters add a whimsical touch. In addition to the dog introduced in Cooking With Grandma, this narrative features a "chook," Australian lingo for a chicken or hen, and a couple of sheep. A pair of birds--maybe fairy wrens?--flit through the pages gathering nesting material. Unlike her previous books, this one is written in a sort of free-floating verse with random rhyme.
Mastnak's drawings aren't perfectly rendered. Some panels are more successful than others, and occasionally the scale and proportion seem awry. But all of her illustrations do an admirable job of engaging the interest and also portraying the warm relationships among the characters. If you don't have these books in your library of books to share with grandchildren, you should.