Encyclopedia of Grannies

Grannies have always been held in high regard in the picturebook world; celebrated for their warm, nurturing personas, or unrivalled superpowers. But in this eccentric directory from French author and illustrator Veillé, a whole new light is shone on society’s most treasured relatives.

From common granny hairstyles, to the impressive positions that the most flexible grannies can adopt, this compendium of whacky observations can take a while to get to grips with. Page titles are a little random (hiding places, postcards, and the rather beguiling ‘Granny borealis’), but once you realise that this is the world of grannies seen through the eyes of little people, you accept that anything goes!

Veillé’s illustrative style is as unique as his beloved Nanas, Mimis, Omas and Gigis. These ladies dress differently, can be flamboyant or shy, and even have days when they feel like ‘a lump of old mashed potato’. Each of these personalities is illustrated perfectly in cartoon-like fashion, with large, Marge Simpson-like eyes full of expression.

What this funny little book reminds us more than anything is that grannies are present in our children’s lives. They are a comfort and a constant, and even children who don’t have their own granny to speak of, still encounter them as part of daily life; on buses, in waiting rooms and even at Machu Picchu in their slippers. Surely that’s worth celebrating.