Magic, mayhem and motorbikes. This is a fantastic and fun 5-star story about – wait for it – knitting!
When she was alive Will thought his gran was normal – wonderful but like normal grans who knit, bake and spoil their grandchildren. It’s only when his gran sadly dies that Will discovers she had some unusual friends and there was more to her knitting than he could ever imagine. From the moment he claims a jumper to remember gran by, Will finds adventures thrust upon him. The latest arrival in their small community – the extremely dodgy Jasper Fidget – is suddenly following Will around and trying to steal any items gran knitted. Will feels vulnerable and confused until the old ladies from his gran’s knitting group start to share some of gran’s startling secrets.
A book about a bunch of grans knitting is not, perhaps, what you’d expect to appeal to children aged 7 years and up and especially not boys. However, as we learn at the end of this story, you should never ‘judge a chair by its chintz’ and ‘you can’t measure the sea with a teacup’. Or put more simply – this book about knitting grans is very different to what you might expect. Knitting here is cool. In fact, it’s more than that – it’s magic and capable of leading to the most exciting adventures.
The ideas in this story are inspired. Central to the narrative is the ‘magic jumper’ that Will chooses as a memory of his gran but, if that sounds more traditional, everything else is most definitely not. Gran’s knitting has very special and totally unexpected powers. There’s a Dalek-shaped loo roll cover that you can put on your head to show you the way. And a knitted lion that can stop you feeling shy. There are socks that help you jump higher than humanly possible and seven-league boots that allow the wearer to travel impossible distances at incredible speeds. Best of all (at least in the mind of any mums who might be reading), there is a casual mention of a knitted rabbit that, when squeezed, reduces the pain of childbirth!
Granny Magic has a cracking plot too. The story has good pace throughout but, for me, it really came into its own in the climax when the grans took to their motorbikes. (Yes, you did read that right!) I also loved the revelation of the identity of the secret leader of the knitting clubs – the Knitwitch. It’s someone you should have heard of (there’s even a clue earlier in the text that I totally missed). I can’t reveal more without spoiling this unexpected twist but I will say my favourite part of the book was probably the conversations the grans go on to have about what items of knitted clothing the Knitwitch might wear. It really made me laugh.
If you enjoyed this, you might want to read about another over-the-top grandma in Kita Mitchell’s hilarious Grandma Dangerous series. This starts with Grandma Dangerous and the Dog of Destiny and also includes Grandma Dangerous and the Egg of Glory and Grandma Dangerous and the Toe of Treachery. Alternatively, for another story that shares magic and adventure, I absolutely adored Princess BMX by Marie Basting.
Publication Date: November 2019
Publisher: Chicken House
Website: Elka Evalds