On an ordinary day, in an even more ordinary town, it was Albert’s birthday. But his Dad did not like mess so there would be no cake or piñata, and there wouldn’t even be musical chairs because his mother didn’t like noise.
‘Albert closed his eyes and imagined himself at a birthday party, holding a piece of chocolate-cherry-ripple cake. Then he made a wish.’
Answering a knock on the door to his Grandma Z, Albert soon finds himself on an adventure on the back of her motor bike as they have a fun filled ‘very un-ordinary’ day, celebrating his birthday.
Author /illustrator Daniel Gray-Barnett has created his debut book for three- to six-year-olds and my four-year-old grandson was just enthralled as we turned the pages. Using just three bold colours and strong brush strokes in the illustrations, Gray-Barnett has produced a magical visual treat, but his choice of words is also appealing to the young. Our grandchildren particularly liked the exquisite drawings of Monarch butterflies as they are regularly checking our Swan plants to monitor the progress of the butterflies and chrysalises. And the sentence, ‘Albert got a fluttery feeling in his stomach like one hundred Monarch butterflies coming out of their cocoons’ is a wonderful way for children to understand the feeling of excitement building in their body.
Daniel Gray-Barnett is a self -taught illustrator based in Sydney, Australia. The illustrations from Grandma Z were chosen from thousands of international entries for the prestigious Society of illustrators Book exhibition held in New York in February 2018. The hard cover book is a quality publication which will be loved by young children, who have a vivid imagination and especially enjoy magical adventures with their grandparents.
Reviewed by Lesley McIntosh
by Daniel Gray-Barnett
Published by Scribe Publications