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Thursday, April 19, 2007

My Granny Went to Market

My granny went to market book review stella Blackstone barefoot books

My Granny Went to Market: A Round-the-World Counting Rhyme
by Stella Blackstone

If you are a granny with an incredibly adorable grand daughter (as if there is any other kind!), looking to get a wonderful gift, then, you cannot go wrong with this book!

In My Granny Went To Market, granny flies in her magic carpet, stopping at various places around the world to collect unique, exotic and charming things and brings them back for the little girl. And, that's not all, because granny buys a certain number of each item she finds in each place, making this a wonderful counting book as well.

First she goes to Istanbul, gets a magic carpet and then embarks on her trip around the rest of the world
Next she went to Thailand
And flew down from the sky
To buy herself two temple cats
Puyin and Puchai

Then granny goes to Switzerland, Russia, Tokyo, Peru among other places.

The illustrations have a folksy feel to them and are quite charming.

When we read it together, my toddler daughter pores over the picture trying to drink it all in, and would not let me turn the page in a hurry.

I was impressed with the illustrations as each one manages to capture the essence of the country being depicted: Zebras, Gazelles and Elephants of Africa, Aborigines and Kangaroos in Australia, to name a few.

In addition, while some of the items pictured there are new and exotic, some are very familiar and quite possibly already present in her environment - like the nesting dolls (Russia), or the kitties (Thailand), or the cowbells (Switzerland), or the masks (Mexico). This offers a great opportunity for parents to talk to their children about the various items collected in each picture, what is unique about those items, what purpose might they serve and what would you do if you had such an item at hand and so on. The illustrations are vivid and lush without appearing crammed or overwhelming.

The rhymes are nice and easy. In addition to introducing places and things, I find that they convey emotions and sounds beautifully:

...Granny sighed I've bought so much but nothing Japanese

"To Australia!" granny ordered...

...she bought five cowbells there that made a funny clanking sound

The last page shows Granny's purchases, from one carpet to ten llamas, providing a simple and compact method to teach counting.

When children start understanding the world around them, this book provides an opportunity to ask them where they would like to fly to and what they expect to find there.

This clear-cut and uncomplicated book will let the children venture outside their doorstep and get a glimpse of the world around them and perhaps inspire a few of them to become explorers and globe-trotters.

While this book is available at any online book store or local retailer, if time permits, please browse through Barefoot Books, the publishers. I love their philosophy. I admire their mission:

At Barefoot Books, we celebrate art and story that opens the hearts and minds of children from all walks of life, inspiring them to read deeper, search further, and explore their own creative gifts. Taking our inspiration from many different cultures, we focus on themes that encourage independence of spirit, enthusiasm for learning, and sharing of the world’s diversity.

Suggested: Read Alone Ages 4-7, Read Together Ages 0-4



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