My Grandfather’s Stick is an endearing tale narrated through the voice of an imaginative young girl.

She conjures up different make-believe situations for herself and her Grandpa’s walking stick features prominently – taking on different supportive roles – it is a magician’s wand, a pole for a tent,  a giant’s finger, a flag pole, a boat’s oar, a pencil that helps her draw picture in the air and so on.

The warm end suggests a strong bond between the child and her grandpa.

The story reminds one of My Mother’s sari from the same publication.

Notably, the girl’s parents, school, siblings have no room in this book. It remains focused on the object of imagination and the owner of the object. There is not even a reference to whether it is the maternal or the paternal grandparent. Though in Hindi , it dons the avatar of the maternal grandpa.

The illustrator, Kshitiz Sharma ( very different work from his Olugato Toluguti) uses circles ( dots and concentric circles) and square grids very effectively to provide a consistent look to the book.

The pictures that accompany the narrative  make it a happy, fanciful ride, rather than a dreamy  soulful one.  The choice of outfits in particular complement the situation on each page ( especially the magician and the camper). The grandpa looks much older than grandpas of little girls do nowadays. But I suppose he would need to look sufficiently in need of a walking stick.

The centre spread is all colour. The rest of the pages have one side colour and the other black and white

This makes for good relief.

One might be a bit misled to believe that the spectacles on the inner cover page have a major role. Or then again, maybe it is the stimulus for the next game of pretend to begin?

Being a bilingual, the text is crisp and sized optimally. The translation in Hindi is an easy read.  Suitable to be read aloud to 3 plus and to be read by early readers of English and the vernacular language.

By Arthi Anand

Author: Nandini Nayar
Illustrator: Kshitiz Sharma
Hindi Translation: Anita Sanyal
Pages: 24
Price: Rs. 85.00
ISBN: 93 5046 016 5
Publisher: Tulika books, 2011
Subject category: Contemporary
Age group: 3+

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