A Gift from the Sea
Melanie Kunz
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
grandparents disability
picture book

Mostly all children can recall the excitement of going to the beach, splashing in the water, digging their feet in the sand, finding shells and other flotsam jetsam. In this bi-lingual book, Rani is visiting her grandmother in the city and is all excited about going to the seashore.

As she walks on the sands she is intrigued by the many articles washed ashore by the tide, a feather, a flower garland, a bag, an empty bottle and a shell. She decides that as her grandmother could not accompany her to the sea, she would take the sea to her. She cleverly puts together a few appropriate items to present them to her and was well-rewarded to see the look of sheer happiness and joy on her blind and aged grandmother’s wrinkled face as she listens to the sound of the ocean in the shell, and feels the cool sand slip between her fingers.

Whilst most of the books in this collection are about children who are disabled, this heart-warming story that depicts the strong bond between a girl and her grandmother is vital. It points out that even whilst it is important to support, value and encourage disabled children, it is also important to do likewise for the elderly. In this day and age of nuclear families, children are becoming more and more self-absorbed and insular, hence, this book that sensitises them towards the elderly, teaching them the importance of caring, sharing and being thoughtful. 

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee