Shu Lin’s Grandpa

£12.99

Shu Lin’s Grandpa takes his paintings from his satchel to show Shu Lin’s class. The sit in silence and watch ‘the silver moon [rise] across the sky’ and stare into the eyes of ‘snarling dragons’. Thereafter, when Shu Lin’s grandfather kisses her goodbye and leaves, desks are pushed back and ‘big sheets of white paper’ are laid on the floor.

Yet what will Barney make of this? He suggested there was little ‘point if he can’t even speak English‘. Then again, something about Shu Lin takes Dylan back to when he ‘had to stand at the front of Mr Biggar’s class’, when it was suggested he should be made ‘to feel at home’. Dylan remembers he didn’t, ‘at the start’. 

Matt Goodfellow’s text is point perfect. We feel concerned for Shu Lin, worried about the skipping buzz in the playground and all the eyes watching her curious lunch boxes. Then again, we gasp alongside the class, when her grandfather reveals his paintings, feeling the ‘flames and swirls of white mist‘. Yu Rong’s pictures are breathtaking, absolutely glorious.

Bookwagon recommends Shu Lin’s Grandpa to every home and classroom. This is an outstanding picture book that deserves reading, knowing, treasuring and gifting.

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Description

Shu LIn’s Grandpa

Matt Goodfellow and Yu Rong

(Otter-Barry Books)- hardback

Shu Lin’s Grandpa comes to ‘school to show [the] class his paintings‘. Shu Lin is new. She does not say much, although Barney thinks something must be ‘up with her’. What’s more she doesn’t join in with the skipping buzz in the playground. Then again, she sits alone at lunchtime and eats ‘brightly coloured food‘ from ‘little boxes‘. It seems nobody has seen anything like it. Therefore, what will they make of her grandfather?
Might it be that after her grandfather has ‘passed his pictures around‘, the children might feel ‘the eye of a snarling dragon‘  or ‘feel the dragon’s breath’ on their necks? Thereafter, what might the children create from what they see? Is it possible that a visit from her grandfather accords Shu Lin greater respect, that this world of wonder ignites something? Could she show them how to ‘hold the paintbrush properly’ and then how to recreate ‘the dragon’s scales’?
Gently, intricately, compassionately, Matt Goodfellow introduces Shu Lin to the classroom. What’s more his words are so tender, that our narrator recalls his introduction to school and then we feel his awe and wonder at this newcomer. Yu Rong’s yellow and green toned, backgrounded pictures are unique. The way she invites us to contemplate an ancient world from end papers to the glorious open page spread, is breathtaking. Then the overlapping, spot lit, variously composed paper cut, pencil and colouring pencil illustrations make us gasp in admiration. It seems that Yu Rong, in association with Matt Goodfellow, poet of Bright Bursts of Colour and more, inspire the same awe as Shu Lin’s Grandpa.
Bookwagon adores this picture book and recommends it to readers of all ages. It is a treasure.

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