Kid’s Book Review: Shu Lin’s Grandpa

Kid’s Book Review: Shu Lin’s Grandpa

About the Book, Author and Illustrator

Happy Chinese New Year!

With a stunning double-gatefold spread revealing a beautiful Chinese picture, this uplifting story shows the transformative power of art and imagination in developing cultural understanding and empathy. It is published by indie publisher Otter Barry Books.

Shu Lin is starting at a new school. She stands alone in the playground and at lunchtime she eats by herself from little boxes of brightly coloured food. She is treated as the odd-one-out by the other children in the class who don’t understand why she is so quiet. But when Shu Lin’s grandpa comes to school and shows the class his amazing Chinese paintings, everything changes….

Shu Lin's Grandpa cover
Matt Goodfellow

Matt Goodfellow trained as a primary school teacher and still works part-time in schools in addition to his highly popular, high-energy performances and workshops. He is particularly concerned to write verse for children in a way which effortlessly combines learning, confidence and entertainment for young readers

Yu Rong is an acclaimed British-Chinese children’s picture book illustrator. She obtained a BA degree in Chinese Painting and Contemporary Art Design from Nanjing Normal University’s Art College and an MA degree in Communication and Design from London’s Royal College of Art, where she studied under Quentin Blake

Book Review

I really LOVE The illustrations in this book because they are detailed and so unique

This book is about Shu Lin starting a new school and not being able to speak English. It reminded me of when I first started school; I could speak English but I was still nervous. I thought Barney was a bit mean at the start but then he saw how talented Shu Lin was, they started to become friends. Shu Lin’s art work is amazing.

I like the sound of Dylan, I think he is a kind boy because he was thinking about how Shu Lin might be feeling. I like the idea of Shu Lin’s Grandad coming to her class and talking about something he is good at; it made me think it would be lovely if my grandad could come to my class and talk about something he is good at, maybe how to fly an aeroplane or how an aeroplane works (because he is a pilot).

I really LOVE The illustrations in this book because they are detailed and so unique. If I saw this book in a shop or the library I would be drawn to it straightaway due to the bight butter yellow front cover. I admire the picture that opens up; the detail is amazing and it seems like a place I would love to visit. I also like the pictures of girls wearing headscarves because I have not seen many books that have these.

The name in the title of the story and the pictures on the cover tell me that it is a book about a Chinese girl; I love learning about different cultures and reading stories that have people of different colour in.

From this book, I have learnt that just because someone can’t speak English it doesn’t mean that they are not talented in other ways and also to be kind when a new child starts in my class and help them.

This story really makes me want to get my paints out and do some painting like the children in the story!


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Whichever you choose, we hope you enjoy being part of your unique reading community – happy reading everyone!

Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Emaan
  • Age: 6 years
  • Likes: swimming, crafts, and fun fairs
  • Dislikes: bananas and spiders
  • Favourite Book: The Secret Seven by Enid Blyton
  • Favourite Film: The Bad Guys
  • Favourite Song: We Don't Talk About Bruno (from Encanto)