32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Grandad, known to his grandchildren (chillers) as Grandude, lives in a very normal house in a very normal street, but when the four chillers – Lucy, Tom, Bob and Em- come to visit they have adventures that are far from normal. For in his pockets, Grandude has some magic – postcards and a shiny compass. All he has to do is give the compass a rub, wave it over the postcard and say,
See the compass needle spin,
Let the magic fun begin.
And all of them are whisked away to the destination on the postcard, on a magical mystery tour that takes them to a tropical island, cowboy country, and listening to Grandude strum his guitar in Sound of Music country. And just as the day begins to wane and little ones begin to too, out comes the compass and a photo of Grandude’s very ordinary home…
From the the creator of some of the world’s most iconic and recognisable songs, this story is based on McCartney’s own experiences of being a grandfather while giving the reader an insight into the magical imagination of someone who can create such diversity as Yellow Submarine and Hey Jude. Setting aside the realisation that my teenage idol is now a grandparent (as am I) and trying to review this dispassionately, this is still a story that will appeal because it celebrates that special relationship that children have with their grandfathers (who are usually more relaxed than even their grandmothers) and inspires a conversation about where they would go if they had a postcard and a magic compass and the adventures that might happen when they get there, because none of those of Lucy, Tom, Bob and Em end well and they have to beat a hasty retreat! Or an opportunity to recall and retell some of the places they have already been with their grandparents and the memories evoked.
With appealing illustrations created by Durst which show her experience as both an animator and an intern with Pixar Studios, this is a modern story, unsentimental but nevertheless engaging and one deliberately structured to draw the curtains on the day.