Updated: Oct 6, 2018
A wonderful and heartfelt book, written by Benji Davies, about the relationship between a young boy, Syd, and his Grandad. Their exciting adventure to a tropical island is full of memory making moments, and the melancholy experience of saying goodbye.
I love this book; it is so colourful, short, and easy to read to my kids. It has a wonderful story line that takes you on an imaginative, vivid journey, and delivers a complicated emotional message. For me, that is the essence of fantasy.
The illustrations in this book are bright, bold, and full of contrast that really makes an impact on the reader. It’s perfect for keeping the kids engaged as well! Grandad and Syd are always the subject of the artwork, enhancing their relationship, and drawing the reader in. The artist avoids too much detail on the periphery buildings and plants, bringing the focus onto the characters themselves. This really helps to draw out the other characters in the book, such as the vivid birds, and the orangutan, which is my personal favourite.
The pace of the book is just right, and it does not take an age to read through, which is always a plus when getting the kids to sleep! There is lots of dialogue as well if you are a reader who enjoys putting on voices (I know I do!)
The last few pages, where Grandad decides to stay on the Island, are heart wrenching. This part of the story gets me every time, and on so many different levels. It makes me think of my own Grandad, my kids Grandad and one day when I will (hopefully) be a Grandad myself. It also reminds me of people I have not seen in a while, and makes me want to speak to them again. I think I probably enjoy reading this book more than my kids do!
Some other notable parts are the sea of roofs, and the final page. I think the sea of roofs is a very clever image; it is zany, but not so much so that it takes away from the poetic side of the book. The final page is a real full stop to the book, and I think it is great that it ends there. It is relieving to know that Grandad is still okay and having fun, and is such a positive end to the story.
I totally recommend buying this book!