Gable does a great job of presenting the information about Nana’s memory loss in a subtle, age-appropriate way through Mom’s answers to Kara and Emma’s questions. (“That’s how her illness works. She can remember things from a long, long time ago. She just can’t remember things now.”) Readers will be heartened to learn that even the smallest thing can ignite a cherished memory from long ago, and that great ideas can come from unexpected places.
Stephenson’s watercolor illustrations are soft and gentle, with whimsical elements such as imaginary birds appearing when Emma's flute music mimics birdsong, and Kara's gymnastics display is as dynamic as Begonia's “wild romping.” The art perfectly compliments Begonia’s personality and the ethos of this sweet book. When Nana hugs Emma and Kara while calling them by her daughters’ names, Begonia reassures them (and the reader) that “Whoever Nana sees, she still loves ALL of us!” This story of a family finding caring ways through a difficult situation is well suited to young dog lovers and those whose loved ones have memory loss.
Takeaway: Parents will find this kind and gentle picture book a perfect way to open a conversation with young children about a grandparent's memory loss.
Great for fans of Veronique van de Abeele’s Still My Grandma, Kelly Starling Lyons’s Tea Cakes for Tosh.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B