Kate Simpson, Author
Gwynneth Jones, Illustrator
EK Books, Fiction, Jul. 3, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Aging grandparents, Coping with an illness, Intergenerational relationships, Family
Opening: “Edie’s Granny is a playtime Granny, a bedtime, story-time pantomime Granny, an I’m not afraid of some slime Granny.”
Edie’s Granny loves her with the fierceness of a lion Granny. They enjoy being together whether it’s eating ice cream cones, or snuggling up on the couch together proudly displaying their animal slippers. Then one day an ambulance arrives and takes Granny to the hospital.
When Edie arrives at the hospital, she is confronted by the physical changes in her grandmother. The lady in the bed, doesn’t look like Granny. She muddles words. Her smile is crooked and she’s confined to a bed. Her mother has to feed her. This isn’t the Granny Edie knows. The doctor tells Edie and her mother that Granny had a stroke. Edie visits every day with her mother, but stays outside of her room.
When Edie’s mother takes her to watch one of Granny’s art therapy sessions, she begins to see the Granny she loves is still there, with her sense of humor intact.
Why I like this book:
This is a heartwarming story about the loving bond between Edie and her Granny, and the changes that occur in their relationship when her grandmother has a stroke.
It focuses on a common illness, like a stroke. It also sensitively explores ways for children to cope with a family illness and the rehabilitation process that follows. The book is age-appropriate and will bring children comfort.
The colorful illustrations expressively show Edie’s emotions, which range from indignation, worry, anger, sadness, and surprise. Kids will watch how Edie finds her way to reconnect with Granny again.
Resources: The book alone is a resource for family members. According to the American Heart and the American Stroke Association, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. There is valuable information for family members, a video of a little girl saving her father’s life by calling 911, and moving forward as a family.
Kate Simpson spent her childhood with her nose in a book but always thought writing was something that other people did. In her thirties, Kate finally decided to give it a try and discovered that ideas can come from anywhere and writing can be for anyone. When she’s not writing or reading, Kate loves board games and laughter, the feel of the sun on her face, and spending time with family, particularly her two young children. This is her first picture book.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*Review copy provided by the publisher.