Jul 012022
Grow Old Disgracefully! Granny’s Tree-Climbing [Review]
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Book Title: Granny’s Tree-Climbing

Author: Ruskin Bond

Illustrator: Ekta Bharti

Publisher: Talking Cub, An Imprint of Speaking Tiger Books

Type: Paperback

Recommended Age: 4-7 years

The fondest memories from my childhood are of the winter vacations at my grandparent’s house with my elder sister, my mother, my grandmother and me taking turns climbing the huge guava tree in their garden. My 95 plus grandmother can now no longer climb trees, but her love for nature and gardening has not waned – with achy knees and a sore back, she lovingly tends to her garden everyday, and recently had a harvest of about 60 kgs of grapes from her small home garden! The book “Granny’s Tree-Climbing” reminded me a lot of her, and her love for nature.

This was our first Ruskin Bond book, and with a title that evoked so much of nostalgia for me, I was very excited to read it. But, reading a Ruskin Bond book to a 5 year old who does not sit in one place for more than 30 seconds?! I was pleasantly surprised that it was a picture book, and that too in rhyme!

The story is about a grandmother who loved climbing trees, and everyone told her to stop climbing them, considering her age but she does not. One day, she gets stuck in a tree and has to be rescued! The doctor tells her to take rest indoors. Will she accept her fate and stay indoors, or challenge herself and get outdoors again? How is she ever going to climb trees again?

We tend to warn our children to be gentle around the elderly, which in turn causes them to think that they are less capable. This book challenges this thought, making it very clear that we are limited not by age but only by our will to achieve something! 

My 5 year old loved the illustrations, with so many small details to notice on every page. What I loved the most, though, were the rhyming verses combined with the author’s excellent choice of words, which is sure to help improve a child’s vocabulary.  

“And though, as years went by, she would be told

That climbing trees should stop when one grew old –

And that growing old should be gone about gracefully-

She’d laugh and say, “Well, I’ll grow old disgracefully.”

This is a lovely book to read to your children to remind them of the beauty that lies in nature, the joy that grandparents bring in our lives and the power of determination! 

Other books by Ruskin Bond can be found here on Amazon.

If you enjoyed this review and wish to climb a tree as well as buy the book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),


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