Children’s Book of the Year Awards 2014 – Shortlisted

This year in the lead up to Children’s Book Week (16-23 August 2014) the staff of Cockburn Libraries are reviewing some of the shortlisted books. The shortlist is compiled by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and deals with the very best of the books for children and young people that have been published in Australia in the last year.

This year Western Australia is represented by six wonderful authors and illustrators. In celebration of this the first book I am reviewing Granny Grommet and Me by Dianne Wolfer. The book was beautifully illustrated by Karen Blair.

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This book took its inspiration from the real ‘granny grommets’ that surf down at Middleton Beach in Albany. While a few liberties were taken (the real granny grommets are a bigger group of women and, as anyone who has visited Middleton Beach knows, there is not a rock pool like the one beautifully draw in the book) this book is a lovely read. The main character in the story is young boy whose grandmother is one of the grommets and every Saturday they all go down to the beach and he plays while the women surf.

The boy is scared of the water, as so many small children are when faced with the vast ocean but with the help and support of Granny and her friends he learns to feel safe in the water. This is an excellent book for children who are scared of the ocean, or something else. The illustrations by Karen Blair are great with each of the grommets having a signature colour and the rock pool page is gorgeous. With a back page full of ocean facts any child will enjoy this story.

I gave this book to my niece, however I wasn’t lucky enough to get a good quote from her like Chantelle did. When I asked her she said she likes it because ‘it’s the granny grommet one’. But I think the fact she likes it, and asks for it to be read to her is a good indicator that this is a good book for children who are about 4 years old. Though, I like it quite a bit too and I’m a little older.

If you’ve read the book we would love to know what you thought of it.

Granny Grommet and Me has been shortlisted for the Book of the Year – Early Childhood. The Children’s Book Council of Australia will be announcing the winners on Friday, 15th August 2014.

Check out all of the shortlisted books for the Children’s Book of the Year Awards here.