Monday, August 21, 2017

Grandma Forgets

Grandma Forgets
written by Paul Russell; illustrated by Nicky Johnston
2017 (EK Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

Even though Grandma can't remember us, we have so many memories of her.

A young girl loves to visit her grandma. Even though Grandma thinks she's someone different each visit, the girl isn't defeated and uses her memories to stay positive. Memories like the Sunday sausages her grandmother would cook. Or trips to the beach and snuggling with Grandma during a lightning storm. Additional memories of apple pie and sunny picnics in Grandma's garden provide comfort. Grandma moves to an assisted living facility, but the visits continue. The whole family is still super supportive and handles Grandma's memory issues with aplomb. One memory that Grandma does hold on to is when Dad left his jacket on the school bus. She never forgets to remind him to grab his jacket. As the family arrives to celebrate Grandma's 80th birthday, her granddaughter remarks "Every time I see Grandma I tell her that I love her. So it doesn't matter if she forgets."

Like another Nicky Johnston illustrated book from earlier this year, The Fix-It Man, this is the story of a family that shows enormous grace in the face of a heart-wrenching situation. This family always finds the silver lining. That is a great lesson in positive thinking for students and adults. I certainly can take this to heart. Grandma Forgets is a terrific resource for a circumstance that many find themselves dealing with. Having had a grandmother who suffered from dementia, I know this is quite difficult for family members. But what remains are the wonderful memories and this book is a great reminder of that.

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