This is the type of book I would love to have had access to when my own child was growing up, a book to be read and re-read and remembered with soft smiles and nods of understanding.
George takes us into the world of a Japanese grandfather, befriended unexpectedly by a raven. A wise and knowing bird, he soon becomes inseparable with his human friend, and his human friend 'The Grandfather' of the title understands his new friend and everything he says. He names him 'Sir Raven'.
The author takes us through life lessons told in a warm and inviting style. The voice of the grandfather is both soothing and touched with humor.
We travel through a kaleidoscope of clever stories with life lessons on revenge and selfishness, harmful gossip, and refusal to see the magic of the world around us.
We join Grandfather and Sir Raven as they utilize the assistance of other members of Sir Raven's family, notably "Flyer" who becomes the running coach of one small boy who wanted to be famous as a runner yet knew no boundaries and little of the pacing and practise it takes to fulfill a dream.
George takes us gently through the things children fear, and shows how fear can be overcome with knowledge and ingenuity.
The stories touch on difficult topics in a clear way, teaching that violence is an unacceptable thing, and that it will not go unpunished.
Selfish and spiteful behavior is shown to be clearly wrong, by showing that the opposite is truly more rewarding.
One particular chapter deals with our inability to see what is right in front of our eyes and how easy it is to fall into the trap of seeing something as bad, before we have the information to prove that it is not.
The sadness of death and the futility of war is covered with an insightful and precised voice. A message that should have been heard many years ago, and sadly went unheard.
I am delighted to own a copy of this work, and unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone young and not so young. It is a wonderful read.