Suzanne Askham, author ‘This one is Special’

This funny, gentle tale about a derring-do grandma and her sceptical cat is short enough to be a complete bedtime story for children aged, say, from five to eight or nine years of age. Equally, the chapters work well for emerging readers to revisit over several sessions. The story is beautifully written, lending itself to being read out loud. The subject, about a trip to the beach with generous doses of magic and imagination thrown in, is one that young readers will recognise and easily identify with. The illustrations are fun – especially the octopus with his range of would-be fearsome expressions. There are some killer jokes in here. And underneath it all is the reassuring voice of an author with masses of experience in helping young children to thrive. A welcome touch are the questions at the end, nicely designed to encourage comprehension skills. One of a projected series of Grandma books that deserves to become a classic.