Grandpa Versus Swing by Tania Sickling
Young at heart Grandpa has taken his grandchildren to the new playground. After leaping into the swing, he discovers he's in a bit of a pickle. Stuck, far from his dinner, no amount of effort from the youngsters can budge him. Will Grandma come to his rescue?
The story was the winner of the 2020 Storylines Joy Cowley award and is Sickling's debut.
Narrated by the grandchildren, this is a sweet story of misadventure and mayhem. Author Tania Sickling's text is fun to read aloud and in groups. While there are parts where the rhyme sometimes feels a little forced, the energy and humour keeps the story on track. Sickling uses loads of fantastic words that make the story a delight to read aloud; words like sprightly, springy, propelled, floundered, and honked that capture little readers.
Illustrator Lael Chisholm captures the joy and humour in wonderful pictures. She also illustrated the popular Granny McFlitter books, and her style was instantly recognised by my children. The joy on Grandpa's face as he swings is delightful. For a nice surprise, open the book flat for a delightful illustration that awed my younger readers.
Grandpa Versus Swing is a sweet little story about the special relationship grandparents and grandchildren have, about being young at heart, and about teamwork. It's a fun story that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell
Scholastic, RRP $19.99