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I don’t know if anyone else remembers with a great fondness the Moomin books. The series was a favorite of one of my brothers when we were kids, and I have his boxed set of books and hope to hook my sons on them. Interestingly, they have a delightful website filled with all of the characters, like Little My, Moominpapa, and Moominmama. Brings me right back into childhood – oh, the power of books!
Make sure you click on the British flag at the bottom to get the English version.

Banjo Granny

Banjo Granny by Sarah Martin Busse and Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Barry Root. 

This warm book tells the story of Owen’s granny who hears that he adores bluegrass music.  So she takes her trusty banjo case with its taped handle and heads off to see Owen.  She has to cross a river, a mountain and a desert to get there.  Granny’s journey is presented along with Owen’s time waiting for her, being told by the birds how the journey is progressing.  Until the final moment when they are joyfully together.

This musical book reflects the rhythms of bluegrass music with prose that dances along and is filled with repetition that creates a real sense of song.  The illustrations are bright, warm and filled with sunshine.  Granny is a wonderful character who is undaunted by each obstacle, pulling a solution out of her worn banjo case. 

Use this one in storytimes for preschoolers and even toddlers who are willing to sit a little bit.  They will get caught up in the rhythm and completely enjoy what Granny pulls from her case.  The mix of magic, warmth and love is what grandparents are all about.  That is completely captured in this book.  A perfect gift for grandchildren or grandparents as well.