Tracey Corderoy (author)
Joe Berger (illustrator)
Nosy Crow, Australia: October 2011
Genres: fantasy, humour, picture book
Issues: differences, family, stereotypes
'My Granny's kind of different... She wears such funny hats. She's got a huge menagerie of cats and frogs and bats! She takes them to the cinema. They take her to the zoo...'
Granny also cooks a strange soup with slime and sludge; when she catches up with her friends they all make things disappear; and she 'drives' a very strange (flying) car. But Granny is game for anything so when her granddaughter suggests making her 'normalish' she's willing to give it a try – with some very unexpected results!
Very much a celebration of individuality, creativity and independence, Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble reminds readers that we are all happiest (and healthiest) when we are being ourselves. While Granny might be unconventional, she knows who she is and isn't afraid to be that person – something we should all try to achieve before we waste too much of our lives attempting to fit into the 'normal' box. Unlike much of the contrived verse haunting too many picture books at present, Tracey Corderoy's text has a very readable rhythm and rhyme that adds to the gentle humour of the story. The book would work brilliantly as a group performance piece as it is great fun to read aloud.
Joe Berger's cartoon style illustrations capture the eccentric nature of Granny (and the very conventional attitude of her granddaughter) as well as the comical nature of the story. The use of a simple palette gives the images an almost old-fashioned feel (think Ludwig Bemelman's Madeline) but it works well, as Berger uses it to reinforce the granddaughter's attachment to 'normalish' – until she realises that the world has considerably more colour and action (literally) when her grandmother is being herself.
Great fun and thoroughly delightful. A book made to be shared and not just with children! There are more than a few adults out there who could do with having their conventional perspectives stretched more than a little!
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