Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone

Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 11/05/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone is a children's picture book by Luann Atkin Koester. For siblings Girly and Scamp, Gran used to be a regular, calm, and, sometimes, playful gran. That is until she kissed the Blarney Stone. She went on a trip to the green isle of Ireland, where on top of Blarney Castle, there was a stone, and kissing it somehow changed her forever. Now, Gran twists and twirls, skips and swirls, does the leprechaun dance, sings, and tells the silliest stories. She seeks help from Girly and Scamp for mushing her peas and cooks delicious fish and chips for them in return, all the while twisting and twirling and singing and dancing. Now, she has finally convinced them to play music with her while she grabs the bodhrán.

A fun-filled adventure tale that celebrates one's heritage, Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone is an absolute delight to read. Author Luann Atkin Koester does a marvelous job of telling a short story that will instantly lift your spirits and leave you in a jolly mood for the rest of the day. Kids are going to love this book. The characters are colorful, mischievous, and full of life. Gran is the obvious scene stealer, but I also loved reading the perspective of Girly as she was narrating the story. The illustrations by Elif Balta Parks are the icing on the cake, and they capture the festive atmosphere of Saint Patrick's Day on the page brilliantly. This one is bound to bring you joy. I will highly recommend this book to kids and even adults who are kids at heart!

Bruce Arrington

Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone, by Luann Atkin Koester, is a children’s picture book about Gran, who traveled to Ireland and kissed the famous Blarney Stone. Before this historic event, Gran was considered normal. But afterward, things really changed. She is no longer the calm, quiet, and reserved person she used to be. Instead, she is happier, more talkative, and imaginative in how she spends her time. The grandkids of the story watch and listen to her, trying to understand the changes they observe. I absolutely loved the story. It is filled with wit, charm, and joy. It shows how we can see the extraordinary in normal, everyday things. What’s more, that joy can spread to others like it did in this family. At first, the other family members only put up with her changes, but soon came to recognize and appreciate them as well.

The artwork is colorful and fun, blending exciting details into the story itself. The images will make young readers want to see the pages over and over again. I can envision parents and grandparents having a fun time reading this along with their children and grandchildren. It is a book that brings people together, helping us all to remember the many special things that life has to offer, if we only choose to take advantage of each day. Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone by Luann Atkin Koester is a treasure that readers of all ages will enjoy pulling off the shelf for many years to come. Highly recommended.

Zahid Sheikh

Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone by Luann Atkin Koester is a heartwarming story of a grandmother's transformation after a visit to Ireland and the Magical Blarney Stone. The story begins with Gran, a kind-hearted and reserved grandmother who has always lived a simple life, but her encounter with the Blarney Stone makes her into a lively person. Her grandchildren's reaction to her newly discovered energy is a mix of surprise and amusement, as they have never seen Gran so full of life before. Gran starts participating in activities like dancing and traveling, and her journey to Ireland and her adventures with the Blarney Stone unfold a sense of wonder and eventually bring joy to her family. They learn to embrace and appreciate Gran's transformation, realizing that it is never too late to live life to the fullest.

The story revolves around family bonding, unique experiences, and joy. Luann Atkin Koester beautifully illustrates how a new encounter can bring a significant transformation in someone's life, even in the later stages. The Blarney Stone opens up a world of possibilities for Gran, inspiring her family to embrace new adventures and appreciate the beauty of life. As they witness Gran's newfound zest for life, they are reminded of the importance of cherishing every moment and embracing change with open arms. The introduction of Irish culture and traditions prompts readers and gives them an opportunity to learn about Ireland. Gran Kissed the Blarney Stone reminds us of the joy that comes with cherishing new experiences and the importance of bonding with our loved ones.