Thursday, 4 April 2019

Encyclopedia of Grannies, by Eric Veillé; translated by Daniel Hahn; reviewed by Anne Rooney

Did your granny look like this? Nor mine. But today's grannies are different and this guide to modern grannies is just what you need if you are stuck with anachronistic expectations of grannies.

Declaration of interest: My grand-daughter calls me "Ba" because grannies are old and I'm not old. It was very reassuring to read that some grannies are 58 *and they still count*. Hurrah. I was very reassured by this book.

It begins with a run-down of the types of grannies you might encounter, including those from the city and those from the salt flats. Then it answers all sorts of crucial questions about grannies, such as how old they are, what's inside a granny, how bendy they can be, what moods they have and what you might find in their beds. A few questions are raised but not answered, such as why they have creases and why they go on buses. I guess these are mysteries beyond the wit of man to solve.

This excellent encyclopedia comes with all the usual paraphernalia of a good reference book, including:

a contents page;

a glossary;

and a bibliography.

It's a fabulous, quirky, cheery, bright and dip-into-able book for grannies and owners of grannies alike. The illustrations are a delight. All kinds of happy grannies and grandchild in glorious technicolour. Even those that have grey, permed hair are not dreary. This is just the kind of up-beat exposure grannies need.

Quite apart from the book being full of fantastic insights into the secret world and true nature of grannies, it's also very beautiful. The design even keeps in mind the perils to which grannies are commonly exposed. It has rounded corners, which means when your grandchild waves it around and pokes you in the eye it doesn't hurt as much as other books. It has beautifully cheery end-papers in orange and blue so you easily find the start and end even in a dimly-lit small person's bedroom. The spine is orange and the cover yellow so you can find it readily either on the shelf or in a pile of random child-detritus on the floor.

I have only one quibble with this book, and I'm surprised the editor at Gecko Press didn't pick this up — all the grannies are white. Really? In 2019? The book was originally published in French; perhaps French publishers are not up to speed with diversity yet, but it's a shame.

(Apologies for poor colour of the pictures; it's a dreary, rainy day and the scanner isn't working.)

The Encyclopedia of Grannies is published by Gecko Press, ISBN 978-1-776572-43-3



Mary Hoffman said...

My best childhood friend became a granny at 43. That why I wrote my picture book "My Grandma has black hair" (Methuen)which was beautifully illustrated by Joanna Burroughes, who is also known as Chris Riddell's wife.

Cindy Jefferies said...

I shall order a copy immediately for the grandchildren’s bedroom!

Enid Richemont said...

Oh this sounds brilliant! Agree re- all white skins, though, Mary. Grannies come in a kaleidoscope of colours.

avi said...

what is cost of this can i download it online

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