Ashleigh Barton (text) and Martina Heiduczek (illustrator), What Do You Call Your Grandpa? HarperCollins Publishers, July 2020, 32 pp., RRP $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780733340864
In every country around the world are grandpas short and tall.
Though they go by different names, we love them one and all.
Behind the delightful and bold orange front cover of What Do you Call Your Grandpa? lies an inclusive picture book ode to grandfathers and as the title suggests, an exploration of what they are called throughout the world by their loving grandchildren.
With her rhythmic and captivating text, Barton invites young readers to turn the page to meet ‘a few of the finest’ grandfathers ‘near and far.’ In the following spreads, we are whisked away to different corners of the globe to meet her diverse characters, the ‘world’s most dapper chap’, a ‘joker – a card, a clown!’ and even, a star-gazing and hopeful Mars explorer! But what makes all of Barton’s characters so special, is that no matter where they are and what they are doing, they are each a beloved grandpa.
Heiduczek’s illustrations beam with warmth and love. Through her vibrant visual storytelling, we see Kaya’s loving gaze as she watches her grandpa Lolo play his sell-out trumpet solo, we hear Koro’s action-packed stories as he amazes his grandson Ari, and we taste the rain droplets with Sandrin’s grandpa Bompa as he jumps and stomps in the rain. The story also ends with an informative glossary of all the grandfather names used throughout the text and where each name is from.
Barton and Heiduczek’s exceptional picture book debut What Do You Call Your Grandpa? is a 2021 Children’s Book Council Notable Book and will soon be followed by their next picture book, a companion story all about grandmothers and the many titles they are given throughout the world, What Do you Call Your Grandma?
What Do You Call Your Grandpa? is a highly recommended read-a-aloud story to be shared between the generations and is also an inclusive educational resource to take young readers aged four and up around the world and visit many different families and meet their Saba, Yeye , Daada and many more!
Reviewed by Lana Spasevski