Going Bush With Grandpa, by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, illustrated by Craig Smith

I jump in the front. ‘Bye, Mum!’ I yell as we pull out of the drive. ‘I’ll bring you back a shiny gold nugget!’
‘Make it a big one!’ she laughs. ‘Then we can all go on a holiday!’

Pete is off on a bush camping trip with his Grandpa, whose name is also Pete. Both of them are excited about the prospect of finding a gold nugget with Grandpa’s super duper new metal detector. But as well as looking for gold, the pair are spending time together – they play jokes, they sing songs, and Grandpa cooks his speciality – curry.

Going Bush with Grandpa is a lovely story of the friendship and connection between two generations of a family. Pete and Grandpa share a special bond and the reader is given the sense that the real nugget here is that connection – though they’ll also hope, along with Pete, for a gold nugget to be found.

With text by Sally Morgan and her son Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and illustrations by Craig Smith on every spread, the story is accessible to readers in early primary years.


Going Bush with Grandpa

Going Bush with Grandpa, by Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, illustrated by Craig Smith
Omnibus, 2014
ISBN 9781742990262

Available from good bookstores and Sally Morgan and online.

The Magnificent Tree, by Nick Bland & Stephen Michael King

Pop liked Bonny’s ideas because they were simple, clever and properly made.
Bonny liked Pop’s ideas because they were big, brave and brilliant with bits sticking out.

The Magnificent Tree

Bonny and Pop have lots of wonderful ideas, for all kinds of things, but so far they haven’t had an idea for the birds. Every day the birds fly over them and away. When Bonny decides they need a tree to attract the birds, Pop agrees – and each sets out to make one. Pop’s idea is big and brave, but Bonny’s is simple. It takes a whole year for their ideas to come to fruition, but in spring the birds come – and stay.

The Magnificent Tree is a wonderful celebration of whimsy, creativity and simplicity, as well as the bond between grandparent and grandchild. Coming from the combined talents of two of Australia’s leading picture book creators, this is an absolute treasure of a book, with text that sings its way cross the pages and a pair of lovable characters shown revelling in life – and each other.

Youngsters will giggle at the silliness of some of the ideas and images, and will find satisfaction in the resolution.

Truly magnificent.
The Magnificent Tree, by Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King
Scholastic 2012
ISBN 9781742832951

Available from good bookstores or online.

My Dad and My Grandad, by Jeannette Rowe

My dad…lets me dance on his feet.
My grandad…rides with me on his old scooter.

There is a range of dads and grandads in these two books as well as a range of children – but the important focus of both books is that of the child sharing time with one of the men in his/her life.

Each double page spread shows the child on the left hand page and the thing s/he does with his grandad or dad on the right hand page, partially concealed by a large flap. Some of the things shared are everday – My dad…helps me brush my teeth – while others are more adventurous (like riding on Grandad’s scooter).

It is lovely to see books which celebrate grandads and dads, and especially pleasing to see grandad reading stories to one of the children. The books might even encourage dads or grandads who don’t share books with their kids to do so – an important but sometimes missed part of early literacy.

Both books are alive with the colour always present in Rowe’s books. Lovely.

My Dad and My Grandad, by Jeannette Rowe
ABC Books, 2004