Friday 8 August 2014

Nanna's Boot Camp

Nanna’s Boot Camp, a children’s picture book © Vicki Griffin.
I decided to write Nanna’s Boot Camp because I thought it would be fun having a mystery about a big boot. It is a follow on from my first children’s picture book Nanna’s Storm published in 2012, which is still available through Black Ink Press Townsville QLD or message me on my author page.

Review of Nanna’s Storm on Goodreads © Sharon L Norris. April 2014
In most families, grandparents are the guardians of tradition. They pass on their knowledge, their skills and their own history through storytelling. Vicki Griffin explores this topic in her children's book Nanna's Storm, illustrated by Vicky Duncan and published by Black Ink Press.

The Nanna in this story is an Indigenous lady who is busy protecting her twin granddaughters, Amy and Jannie, from a cyclone that threatens their rural home. She has survived many storms in her day and she knows exactly what to do on this occasion, taking charge when her granddaughters are very frightened. Nanna turns it into a game and hides with the twins in the wrought-iron bathtub as the storm unleashes around them.

There is a twist in the tail of this story which demonstrates that Nanna is indeed a master of performance storytelling. Through this, her grandchildren learn a valuable lesson about dealing with the elements of nature, and in this way, another tradition is passed on to a new generation. 

Colourfully illustrated and told with warmth and heart, 'Nanna's Storm' will appeal to readers who enjoy the art of storytelling.

Review by Majhid Heath

Bug in a Book review.

Nanna’s Storm is based in a dry, dusty part of Australia. The indigenous residents haven’t seen rain for years. The young children have never seen rain at all. 

I love a wholly Australian book. I love a story that crosses generations, and I have a soft spot for cheeky Nanna’s too. 

Nanna’s Storm
is told from Nanna’s perspective rather than being about Nanna which is common in children’s books. I think this is a good thing as it puts the child reader in a perspective they are not used to. 

While at Nanna’s, a storm thunders and brews overhead. The twin girls of merely five years have not experienced a storm before and are afraid of the noise and the strange weather. Nanna comforts the girls and encourages them into the bathtub for safety which she tells them is a game of hide and seek with the rain. This becomes a bit of a fun adventure with everyone in the bath hiding under towels snacking on berries and juice. Eventually they all fall asleep. When they awake they are in an old bath in the middle of a field surrounded by sunflowers. Was the storm really that bad that it blew the house away or carried them bath and all into the field? Maybe Nanna is up to her tricks!

Nanna’s storm made me smile, giggle and laugh out loud. What a wonderful Nanna. 

Join Nanna in her rich Australian earth colours, cheeky fun, close family bond across generations and see out the storm. I swear I can almost smell the rain on parched soil.

Nanna’s Storm suits middle grade children and is predominately targeted for indigenous children but I think it should be read by all. A book for home and the classroom. I would love to see this book in the classroom as I think there are great topics to be explored, such as our Australian indigenous communities. 

Have you got a cheeky Nanna?


These two books;  Nanna’s Storm and Nanna’s Boot Camp are predominately marketed for Indigenous children as my goal has always been to help children in remote areas to experience the joy of reading. After 30 years of fostering children I had an understanding of what children like, what’s funny and in particular how they like disgusting, yucky things to happen within stories. Nanna’s Boot Camp is suitable for young readers and reluctant readers.

Author Jackie French loves the story and the below link is what she had to say in the children’s Laureate about it.

Nanna’s Boot Camp is available at  eBook $7.99 Hard Cover $15.
Vicki Griffin with her mob comes from the Shoalhaven area – Darawal tribe to the South Coast of New South Wales. Her Indigenous heritage inspired her to investigate her cultural and artistic talents and she began writing and painting.
Now her art hangs not only in local schools and daycare centres in the Brisbane area but also in Japan.
Discovering more of her talents in the realm of writing she enrolled at the University of New England and in 2006 completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication.

Vicki Griffin is married with four children and lives in Queensland. In 2001 she became a guardian of a Torres Strait Islander child and is leading him into his culture.



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