I am very excited to be sharing my review for Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush by Patrice Lawrence & Camilla Sucre. This stunning picture book is one of my top picks for 2022!
When Ava is asked to dress as an inspirational figure for her school assembly, she asks Granny’s advice. Granny pulls out her beloved old suitcase that she travelled to England with many years ago on the Empire Windrush.
Granny suggests several inspirational Black women Ava could dress up as: Winifred Atwell, Mary Seacole and Rosa Parks. But Ava doesn’t know much about them. Granny explains what they did, but still Ava doesn’t feel a strong enough connection. Instead, Ava finds herself drawn to Granny’s mysterious suitcase. What other treasures are inside?
Camilla’s illustrations are exquisite and so full of love it feels like this picture book is giving you a big warm hug. I became increasingly emotional as Granny shares with Ava the treasures in her suitcase that she brought over with her on her journey to England. This includes a jar, that had been filled with dried orange peel by her auntie to help with the sea sickness and remember the smell of home. Patrice has woven in details about the Windrush experience in such a gentle and natural way that the story pulls at your heartstrings.
But who will Ava choose to dress up as for the school assembly? I think we all know there is only going to be one choice… but the journey of discovery that Patrice and Camilla take you on to get there is magical. Granny Came Here on the Empire Windrush is pure gold!
Published by Nosy Crow, 5 May 2022
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.