Alice Melvin

3 years +, Contemporary Books, Tate

Grandma's House

Words & Illustration by Alice Melvin

I was so excited to buy this book as my little one loves to visit her grandparents and I am a massive fan of the British Illustrator Alice Melvin's work. 

Exquisite. This book is so rich with colour and detail that it is an absolute joy to get lost within its pages. We really enjoyed exploring the various rooms within Grandma's House and I am sure that your little readers will too. The book follows a little girl who often visits her grandmother after school. She moves through the house looking for her grandmother and every spread is a treasure trove of detail and it was hard for me not to feel nostalgic with every page turn. I could relate to so many of the details contained within an old period style home and the collection of objects contained within a home that has so clearly shared so much family history. 

At least one cut out window is included on every spread with a glimpse in to the room where you have come and a peek in to the next room. Children will love to peek through these doorways and guess what room is next. The attic is particularly special with a page unfolding twice to reveal an attic and a gloomy space filled with family heirlooms.

The level of detail captured by Melvin is extreme. It is wonderful to see beautiful stained glass windows, mosaic tiles, lush plants, and patterned rugs illustrated alongside the mundane details such as light switches, power points, rubbish bin and broom, wallpaper patterns, a metronome on top of the piano, downpipes and a garden hose. 

Melvin's illustrations reminded me of the work of my favourite Australian artist Cressida Campbell. Like Campbell's painted woodblock prints, Melvin's illustrations are so detailed that I get the sense that I am privy to the inside of their own homes or their childhood memories. This beautiful book is a special treat.