by Diana Matlin
An Evening with Grandpa is a nicely crafted story within a story. It starts when Annie is “forced” to spend an evening with her grandfather, who she thinks is boring and will never play with her. But that evening, Grandpa agrees to play chess and teach her how to play it through a story. Grandpa and Annie take us to Chess Kingdom, where Queens and Kings do what they do best: fight. They’ll introduce us to Pawnie, a determined little pawn who wants to be a princess.
I liked the fact that Pawnie is a girl doing what girls in stories usually don’t do: going on the battlefield. I believe this story will empower girls to try on other roles that are not traditional for girls and it will get both, boys and girls, interested in the game of chess.
In my opinion, though, the White and Black Queens motivation for helping their husbands win the battle could've been more substantial. A dress and a fancy party sound superfluous and stereotyping. But that's probably just my feminist side talking.
I read it to my 6 years old and I can tell that he lived the story. And how not since it's interesting and engaging from the beginning. It explains the moves of the game of chess in a creative way. Annie and Grandpa’s conversations are easy to read, familiar and very relatable. It feels like we could heard them talking.
An Evening with Grandpa is a very good read that will entertain and teach. I also love that I can relate to it, since my grandfather taught me how to play chess. Now I wish we could've read this book together.
For a trailer watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYY7Xdhuv7g&feature=youtu.be
Author Diana Matlin lives in New jersey with her husband and three kids. In her free time she loves to read, travel and spend time with the family.
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*I received a free PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.