CM . . .
. Volume XXI Number 24 . . . . February 27, 2015
My Granny Loves Hockey is the story of a young girl and her granny who share a love of hockey. Together, they watch games on television and talk about their favourite sport, and granny’s dream of playing hockey. When Granny was a child, girls were not allowed to play hockey, and now Granny can no longer walk. But her granddaughter wheels her to the park to watch the kids play, and Granny give encouraging commentary to the young skaters. With the help of these girls and boys, the young girl comes up with a plan to make her granny’s dream come true, that of taking a shot at the net and scoring!
Lori Weber, author of several YA books, combines a great Canadian hockey picture book with a tender story of the close relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. Weber skilfully addresses the realism of an aging grandparent whose health is failing. Not only does Weber show the care and concern of the young girl, but she emphasizes the fun and enjoyment of the duo’s time together. An age difference and declining health do not prevent them from sharing some happy hockey adventures.
The format of My Granny Loves Hockey entices readers of all ages to engage in not only the written text, but in the visual story, too. Illustrator Eliska Liska’s stylized drawings capture the sense of the story, the characters and the winter setting in a unique and appealing manner. Both the specially selected colour palette and the whimsical landscape drawings give a fun depiction of winter. My Granny Loves Hockey is a fine example of how a skilful blending of art and text enhances a story for young readers.
Hockey picture books are popular with all ages of readers. Children will enjoy My Granny Loves Hockey because of the subject, but they will also encounter other ideas within the book. Through both the text and the illustrations, they will get a glimpse at how hockey has changed over time, especially for girls. The young readers will also share in a story that shows a close and loving relationship between the young and the elderly. This book provides an opportunity for continued conversation both at home and at school. For the preschool child, My Granny Loves Hockey might be best read and enjoyed together with an adult so that questions may be answered.
Janice Foster is a retired teacher and teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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