‘Mammy, Mammy, I want to read my book about vineyards!’ 5-year-old boy asked loudly pointing something on the bookshelf with his little finger.
‘Not now, darling, we’ll read at home’ an elegant woman replied still looking at the bottles of wine on the shelf.
‘But I want to read NOW’ the kid dabbed his mouth to the glass pane and puffed on it. A few seconds later he drew something on the foggy glass. This something looked to me like a deformed alien, although it wasn’t green.
‘But the book about wine is at home’ once again woman did not turn her head from the wine shelves and put another bottle to the basket.
At that time the seller came out from behind the counter and gave the child a white sheet. The boy’s face brightened up, he ran to his mother and hide his head under his mom’s skirt, shyly glancing in the direction of the assistant and simultaneously showing to the world a large part of his mom’s legs.
‘Stop it baby, we go home and we will read and color the wine book ok?’ the woman said quietly as she pulled out the toddler from under her skirt and she turned towards the cash desk.
Young boy followed his mom, staring at the white sheet of paper, his new treasure. Less than a minute later both they disappeared behind the door and their departure was accompanied by a loud whistle from the little white device located just above the door. It was this kind of whistle-sound that a man does when he sees a beautiful woman.
I was surprised as it is not a typical European behavior – giving a child the wine book so he can read about wine and learn about wine? Have I mentioned already that the toddler was about 4-5 years old?
I was born and raised in Poland and although I live in France I still have some mentality of the people from the country I was born in. And this inner voice told me that firstly it is very bad to listen to a few year old boy that he wants to read a book about wine and secondly that parents should not encourage children to drink.
I forgot that I have been visiting a different world to the one I used to live in. Or perhaps I forgot that my old world was such different than the one I live in at the moment. Anyway – I was not fair thinking this way.
I was surprised but at the same time I was curious about the book the boy wanted so much. Therefore I went closer to the bookshelf and I tried to look at it with child’s eyes and there it was! A very colorful book for children: ‘ Winey Kids, McLaren Vale, Little explorer’. I laughed and said out loud to myself ‘no way’.
Winey Kids’ “McLaren Vale, little Explorer” is a booklet for children and it is a part of promotion of McLaren Vale Wine Region. From this book children will find out about wine producers, vineyards and wines. The book is full of nice and colourful drawings, quizzes and challenges for littler explorers.
„Whether you are here for a day, a week, a mouth or live here, this Little Explorer Kit will help you and your family get the very best out of the McLaren Vale wine region! We encourage you to get out and about, visiting the places listed in this booklet, learning something as you go! Each page features a different cellar door or local business, along with some suggested activities or challenges at the location. Can you do all of them?”
You can clearly see that the authors from the beginning encourage children to discover the McLaren Vale wine region. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. Not at all!
I think it is very smart to show children that wine is not for getting drunk but it is a element of life, especially when living in a wine region; wine can be a piece of history, it is interesting if you are passionate about it and if you drink it, do it wisely and with moderation – if children see their parents being like that they will follow them. I like this way of thinking.
But this post is about the book, not my opinion about the mentality of others, so let’s go back to the main subject ;) McLaren Vale Little Explorer is very colourful, not too big and full of surprises. On each page children will discover different wine producer / cellar door / wine business. Each page has the basic info about the company and lots of challenges for the kids to do in the cellar door.
Toddler will have opportunity to taste regional products (not wine, obviously!), to pet the animals and to have some outdoor activity among the vines. There’s a few examples of the challenges the children will find inside the Winey Kids booklet:
- Taste some pure South Australian honey (Maxwell Wines)
- Have a race up the steep grass hill (Maxweel Wines)
- Write your name in chalk on one of our Pathways (Oliver’s Taranga)
- Taste the Corile Verjuice in out cellar door (Coriole Vineyards)
- Ring the Angelus Bell (Wirra Wirra)
- Hand pick at least three snails off our organic vineyard (Angove)
- Roll down the hill 3 times (Gemtree)
- Feed the kangaroo (Woodstock)
- Count the vines – how many can you see? (S.C. Pannell)
Ok, I know some of you wonder if… and the answer is: Yes, obviously I did! Running among vineyards, counting grapes in the bunch, looking for hidden subjects in cellar doors – I really enjoyed it! I take care of my inner child because the more happy she is, the more happy I am and the more I enjoy my life. Simple as that!
It’s so good to see children participating in their parent’s life, a winey life. Although they were drinking babychino or juice instead of wine, I’ve seen the children were happy to spend time together with their parents; all of them were enjoying their holidays – together. And this book is a good choice if you’re travelling with a kid / kids – lots of good fun for them and lots of free time for you!
PS As I found out, the white sheet the child got from the seller was a restaurant menu to colour in. Another good idea!
Now it’s your turn to write and my turn to read: Do you know any other wine books for children you would like to reccomend? Have you read/seen/bought the one I wrote about? Let me know in the comments below!
Winey Kids, McLaren Vale Little Explorer’s details:
Title: Winey Kids, McLaren Vale Little Explorer
Publisher: Winey Kids
Year published: 2015
Availability: yes, McLaren Vale, Australia