Tibble and Grandpa
Wendy Meddour and Daniel Egnéus
Oxford Children’s Book
The relationship between a child and a grandparent is often very special and uncomplicated, and so it is here.
Tibble’s Grandpa is grieving. He seems to be always in the garden: Mum explains that what he needs is time.
Full of loving concern, Tibble wants the old Grandpa back: he barely recognises this silent, withdrawn person. Little by little he gets Grandpa to open up as they spend time together talking of favourite things.
Next morning Grandpa actually seeks out Tibble’s company and they spend the day doing the boy’s favourite things – his ‘Top Three Days Out’ all in one.
That evening they get out the telescope Granny had given to Tibble and they watch the stars together. Tibble opens up a discussion about favourite (Top Three) Grannies, ‘Mine are granny who is dead. Granny Agnes who lives on top of the shoe shop. And the Granny in Little Red Riding Hood,’ he says and this acts as a release for Grandpa.
Wendy Meddour has created an enormously affecting tale of loss, grief and love. Her repeated use of ‘Top Threes’ throughout the narrative is genius, injecting just the right degree of gentle humour into her telling.
Daniel Egnéus reflects so well both the humour and poignancy of the story in his outstanding mixed media illustrations making you feel as though you want to hug both Tibble and Grandpa.
Yes it’s a book about coping with the death of a loved one but it’s also an outstandingly beautiful story about intergenerational love and its power to heal.