Grandpa’s Gift

Grandpa’s Gift
Fiona Lumbers
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

The little boy narrator of this story is finding his new life in the city a dull contrast to the open spaces he’d so enjoyed till he moved just over three weeks ago.

Feeling downcast he walks in the rain through the grey dreary streets with his grandpa who has a surprise in store. When they reach a dowdy-looking shop full of what looks like a lot of junk, Grandpa stops and in they go. The lad is totally disenchanted by what he finds inside, but why is Grandpa looking so excited?

Then he opens his hand to reveal …

A geode stone. Underwhelmed, the boy just stares. Then Grandpa tells him something his own grandmother had said to him many years ago: “ … beauty and magic can be found in the most unexpected of places. You just need to look for it.” He then proceeds to prise open the stone. Amazingly a transformation occurs …

With the rain stopped, the two head outside and continue walking, the boy with the stone safe in his pocket. Now he begins to look at the world anew and before long discovers that indeed, there is beauty and magic all around.

With hope in his heart and a rainbow overhead, the narrator takes his Grandpa’s hand and together they start to walk home,

Hugely uplifting is this, the second of Fiona Lumbers’ author/illustrated picture books. Her predominantly watercolour illustrations are an absolute delight – full of interesting details and small jewels of colour. I love the way she uses the geode stone as a metaphor for the city, showing how beauty can be discovered in the most unexpected places.