This Book Just Broke My Heart

Granpa, by John Burningham was in amongst a pile of books I picked up to flick through in Waterstone's this morning, and when I'd finished I was fighting back tears. I was drawn to it because the cover illustration reminds me of Lowestoft, and the beach I played on with my Grandparents. 

The book doesn't have a story as such, but each page has one or two sentences, with one font for the Granpa's words and one for the little girl's. Each page shows a different memory the pair shared together, gardening, going to the beach, playing tea-parties, even falling out, where the line reads "That wasn't a very nice thing to say to Granpa". The illustrations are also so clever, with one page in colour, depicting the present, and one page in black and white, showing how the girl's imagines Granpa's tales. It really feels like the way a small child would describe a person they has lost, with memories of specific events they remember and exaggerated detail. 

The book ends with the pair planning an imaginary trip to Africa, where they will sail on a big ship and Granpa will be the captain. Then you turn the page and Granpa's chair is empty. 

It's totally heartbreaking, but I think it could be a really useful way of talking about people dying with very young children. 

In other news, we had a lovely day in York yesterday with my very best friend who I hadn't seen since before Christmas. We had the best cup of tea ever in Bettys, and I got to try out my new sunglasses (the sun was really bright on the train...honest)

We also found these amazing tiled stairs which have gone into my "one day when we have a real house" scrapbook.

I hope you've all had a lovely long weekend...only three days and we get to do it all over again! 


  1. Oh my goodness!
    That book seems super super sad!
    Your sunglasses are cute though, and I love the tile stairs!

  2. cool stairs. I have a one day when I have a scrap book collection. ;)


  3. Oh wow, that book sounds like a tear-jerker. I collect children's books, so I will have to check that out.

    And wow, those stairs are awesome!

  4. Thank you Anna, I think I'm in love with my glasses! Thank you for following too, it means a lot. Dionne, my boyfriend and I collect children's books too, so part of my "one-day" scrap book is a library! One day maybe!

  5. Aww, i wanna read it now! Cute sunglasses by the way! :)

    P.S. I'm a new follower!

    xo Rachel @

  6. Thank you so much for following Rachel, it means so much. You should read it, it's so lovely and sad at the same time xxx