“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday


The Pipi Swing

The-Pipi-SwingAuthor:  Sarona Aiono-Iosefa

Illustrated by:  Bruce Potter

Published by:  Reed Publishing Ltd 2007

Age: 4 – 8yrs

Theme:  family, fun, death and moving on.

Opening lines:  “Grandpa’s up to his old tricks again, Mai!” I called to my mother.  “What, honey? What’s he doing now?” she yelled back.  “He’s just called me to say he wants to take me out dancing, something about a pip swing,” I shouted up the stairs.

Synopsis:  A 12 year old girl whose Dad had died years earlier is asked by her Gramps and Grandma to come and have some fun and join them for something called a Pipi Swing.  When she asks her Mum won’t tell her what it is. Instead her Mum insists she will have fun.  When her Grandparents take her to the beach she learns not only about the Pipi Swing. but also about some much treasured memories of her Dad.

Why I like it:  A touching story that will have you reaching for a tissue.  What I really like is that it gives you a small window on how people in another culture deal with death.  The loving family bond and relationships between a child and her grandparents.  The memories she has of her father.  The book is full of big clear lined simple illustrations. The author is a New Zealand-born Samoan who began writing children’s books when she found too few Pacific Island children’s books.  The illustrator, Bruce was a cartoonist for a number of years and later a portrait painter specialising in oils and began illustrating children’s books in 2000.  Both writer and illustrator live in New Zealand.

Research and Findings:   An activity for the classroom came with this book….   http://www.pacificpicturebooks.co.nz/the-pipi-swing/

Here’s how to make Pipi fritters, even though I have never had them myself, they do look good…..  http://www.nzwomansweekly.co.nz/food/recipes/pipi-fritters/

Oh. and if you are wondering what the Pip Swing is….  go down to the beach, take off your shoes at low tide, then do the twist and eventually you will feel the shells of a pipis under your feet.  Enjoy and have fun!    While you are all wrapped up warm against the biting chill of winter, I will be off to the beach again this weekend, and spending some time out of the big city, seen as it’s a long weekend.

Pop over  and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.


About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Children's literature, Folklore / multicultural, Picture Book Review and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. clarbojahn says:

    Oh, I do envy you right about now. My thermometer registered below zero this morning when I woke up shivering in my bed and it took a long time to warm up. 🙂

    This book does look like a summer favorite and one that might help with kids who are grieving their grandparents or someone else. Is it like that or something else, Diane? 🙂

    • That’s the one thing I dislike about winter is having to get out of a nice warm bed in the morning, especially to go to work.\
      Often pacific islanders and Maoris do morn the loss of a family member for some time. In this particular story, mother and daughter have shut themselves away, but it is the grandparents that think it is about time their granddaughter learns some fun things that her father used to do when he was a kid, and so learn to be a kid and enjoy life.

      • clarbojahn says:

        Good thing to have grandparents, huh?

        Even my own parents needed me more than ever after my late husband died. My mother always needed to be needier than I was and needed to be the center of attention. Made my own grieving even more difficult since having a mother hug me would have been rather welcome at the time. 😦

  2. clarbojahn says:

    I mean to say grieving period. Since it is about having memories of her father. Tell me more Diane and I will definitely get it out from the library, too. 🙂

  3. Catherine Johnson says:

    A pipi swing sounds fun. I love the kiwis sense of adventure.

  4. I have never heeard of a Pipi swing and I was afraid I was going to read the entire review and not know. I love the customs of other cultures! Sounds like a wonderful story of dealing with grief. You should enter one of your books in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day on Monday, Jan. 27, You can see the info on my blog. You need to sign up. They will put out a link (like Susanna does) on Monday. You can review from any genre.

    • Hi Pat. Glad you like it. I never heard of it either till now. It is a beautiful story. Thank you for the tip. I was unaware of it. Will register today. Thank you so much, Pat.

  5. Diane…this is a lovely book. We need more stories that deal with topics like this…and the fact that it is from a ‘different’ culture (different to some, but not to others:)…makes it even more valuable as it gives us a picture of how others live.
    Thanks so much for sharing it…I’m adding it to my need-to-read-this list.:)

  6. I used to do the pipi swing to find hermit crabs! And to see if I could stand up against a wave. I do so miss the beach. I’ll be looking for this one too!

  7. Sounds like a lovely book (and brings memories of lovely weather!). The simplest traditions are often the best.

  8. This book sounds wonderful on more than one count. It is good to have books like this. Tho theey might not sell as many copies the need is so important. And I read through the recipe which sounds amazing…thanks for the link.

  9. Thanks for recommending such a lovely book. I’ll make sure to grab the box of tissues before I sit down.

  10. I love grandparent books. Grandparent heroes are pretty special! I don’t know about pipis, but I do love digging around in the sand and the water. I’ll be looking for this book. Thanks!

  11. Darlene says:

    Sounds like a delightful book with a heart warming message. Always good to read about other cultures. Enjoy the warm weather Diane.

    • Glad you like it Darlene. Yes I am certainly going to make the most of it. Although it van change as quick as anything from beautiful hot to cloudy drizzle rain in minutes…lol.
      ps.. looking forward to the next Amanda book.. 😉

  12. This looks like a good book about a kid with a deceased relative.
    Will you be doing the Pipi Swing at the beach? 🙂 I would do the Pipi Swing, but I need to figure out how to do the twist. Hmm…

    • Hahaha…. guess I will have to teach you one-day my friend. No I didn’t do the pipi swing it rained when we got there. So did some exploring/driving instead and then came home.

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