This is a fun and upbeat take on what it’s like to be a grandma in an era when grandmothers are more likely to have busy careers and social lives, rather than sit waiting in a rocking chair with their knitting hoping for the next generation to arrive.
The early poems in this jolly (and autobiographical) collection follow the typical new grandma as she progresses from the initial shock and slight resentment of being promoted a generation, to embracing and celebrating the new status with pride.
The themes of the various poems will strike a chord with many modern grandmas, from trying hard to resist offering their children parenting advice to being glad to give the grandchildren back at the end of the day.
At risk of sounding snobbish, I’d class it as verse rather than poetry – it’s more Pam Ayres than John Keats – but that makes it all the more accessible and digestible for a wider range of readers. But there are also echoes of A A Milne, who Di Castle greatly admires. (Quite right too!)
The presentation of the book is very nice indeed, illustrated by Denise A Horn’s crisp line drawings whose energy and spirit reminded me of E H Shepard’s pictures for A A Milne’s poetry books, “When We Were Very Young” and “Now We Are Six”. It would make a very acceptable gift for Mother’s Day or for a Grandma’s birthday (or any other day you care to show your appreciation). it would also be a cheeky prop for women to use when breaking the news to their own mum of their impending change of status.
I’ve included this book in my reviews feature for the March/April 2014 issue of Today’s Child magazine, which will focus on good books for Mothers’ Day.
It’s published by Matador (ISBN 978-1784620240) and the paperback’s RRP is £6.99. Although it’s also available as an ebook, the paperback looks and feels so lovely that it’s really worth paying the extra few quid for the print version.
To find out more about Di Castle and her book, check out her website: www.dicastlewriter.wordpress.com
Di Castle sells a lot of her books through local high street bookshops.
Support your local bookshop if you can – we use them, or lose them, folks!
High street shops should be able to order a copy for you if it’s not on their shelves.