Thursday, 15 January 2009

Grandma's Hat by Rosemary Kahn

When you were little, didn't you just love to hear stories of what your parents did when they were young. To a little child the concept of age and the fact that their parents were once children is a hard one to grasp.

What about stories from the childhood of your grandparents? For those of us lucky enough to have met our grandparents and even more so to have spent time with them, hearing funny stories about when they were small has a certain specialness to it. There really are no words to the bond that forms between grandparents and grandchildren and the sharing of stories is a wonderful way to solidify this bond.

The first published book written by Rosemary Kahn came to provide exactly such a wonderful gift. Grandma's Hat is one of my favourite children's picture books.

Did you know that the book is based in part on a true story? The Granny in the story actually did have an experience with a hat all the way back in her childhood. This book has a fun twist to it, an ending that takes us by surprise and leaves us giggling.

Grandma's Hat was first published concurrently by Songololo Books, (at that time) the children's division of David Philip Publishers in South Africa, Viking Kestrel in USA and Walker Books in UK. The book was also translated into Afrikaans by Human and Rousseau, the Afrikaans title being "Ouma se Hoed".

The book was so well received that it has already gone into is second printing and is probably due for its third. The book has been sold and enjoyed in Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was studied as part of the children's literature course of UNISA, was used as a school reader in Botswana and has had an article written about it in the Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

Grandma's Hat has been sensitively illustrated by Terry Milne from photographs supplied to her by the author. The illustrations have a softness to them and a quality that captures the atmosphere of the Karoo and leaves one feeling as though you have stepped into the past, into the life of Grandma as a little girl.

If you have children, this book is a must read. It has a very special quality to it and will be a wonderful addition to your collection of children's books

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