Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Grandad’s Prayers Of The Earth

I had wonderful grandfathers. They were unconditionally proud of me and I was their fan. They were my fellow conspirators. We would ransack snacks set aside for an occasion, go off for a joy ride in an auto or a cycle, dip in the mini-pond in the back yard at odd hours, catch a movie together and so on. I note ( with great joy) the same adulation for my father, in my children. Life does come a full circle. And it is probably most evident when my five year old quizzes her thaathu on life. And how, without over simplification, he responds to her.

The last two reviews on ST, inspired me to add on a very thought provoking book we read with the much loved Grandpa playing an important part.


Title: Grandad’s Prayers Of The Earth

Author: Douglas Wood, Illustrator: P. J. Lynch

Publisher: Candlewick Press

A doting grandson feels comfortable asking his loving grandfather any doubts he has.

The grandchild questions him on what is a prayer and the grand pa introduces the wonders of nature to the boy. He explains that the joy of being alive, whatever the life form, manifests as a prayer.

At another juncture in the story, the grandpa explains the different ways of praying- how water could be calm, gentle, joyous, cheerful, naughty in its prayers. I found this very powerful as a metaphor.

The boy asks if prayers get answered and the grandpa says " Not all prayers are questions."

That praying is about self awareness and self change to see the world around you in a new light dawns on the boy. It is what comforts him when he grieves inconsolably after his Grandpa's death, in this moving tale that reiterates the need to celebrate all the little things around us .

The illustrations are warm and capture nature in all its glory. The wrinkles on the grandpa's forehead, the boy's wonder, his grief, all are poignantly captured by the remarkable artist.

Another personal plus for me was that the book is spiritual but completely 'non religious' in approach.

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Just got to know that today( March 3) is World Book Day. Well, for most of us it is a Book Day each and every day of our life. But there are some enduring favourites, right? So how about leaving a comment here at ST to tell us your favourite kid’s book/s ever?

8 comments:

Vibha said...

Lovely. I think we should dedicate this month to the grandparents. This reminds me of one of the books that I had reviewed a while ago. I should dig it up and post it soon on ST.

Vibha said...

Here is the link - That's Where God Is.

http://literarysojourn.blogspot.com/2010/11/book-review-thats-where-god-is.html

artnavy said...

Great idea Vibha. Read the review- yes it does in fact sound a lot like this one...

Mama - Mia said...

sounds like such a lovely book Art. since we lost Mayunk's dad have been wondering how to make his memories stronger for Cub. but wondering if he is too young for something like this?!

artnavy said...

It is a bit early to just read aloud to him but you can paraphrase you know....the pictures will resonate enough

ranjani.sathish said...

Very nice pick Art..the story is really touching. Hope to get this book.

artnavy said...

found it at Strand R- I will bring it over when I see you

Choxbox said...

Books on grandparents are the best!

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