Nanna’s Button Tin (Dianne Wolfer, illus by Heather Potter, Walker Books)
I had a teddy who lost an eye, but my Nanna didn’t have a button tin. My daughter had a nanna who kept her buttons in a range of colour-coded jars. So this book was very moving for our family and I suspect would be equally relevant to many families. Some nannas who don’t have a button collection might even be inspired by this book to begin one. The heart-warming story is sensitively told in simple and expressive language. The reader is invited to join this loving family to experience the special relationship between a small girl and her nanna and to relive treasured family memories, all through the special buttons in nanna’s jar. The delicately coloured gouache illustrations, with a palette of gentle blues, greens and yellow, follow the family’s search for the perfect button. Teddy waits patiently through all this until a new button is sewn in place and he’s as good as new. Stories about family togetherness are very important in the life of a child. They reinforce family experiences and loving relationships, and when they are as warmly portrayed as those in this book, they become keepsakes. Children aged five and under will enjoy having this read to them but the themes will resonate with older emerging readers as well.
Margaret Hamilton is a former children’s book publisher. She is now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage in Blackheath, NSW