I smile for Grandpa

by | Mar 15, 2021 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

I smile for Grandpa (cover)

Book Details

I smile for Grandpa
Jaclyn Guenette, illus. Kathryn Harrison. Ontario: Flipturn Publishing, pb, 978 0 9949 4676 8, 2018, £8.36, 32pp.
Picture book, fiction 3-9 years

In this bright, colourfully illustrated book, animal characters are used to great effect to tell the story of Grandpa’s dementia.

We meet Buddy and Grandpa happily taking part in activities which children can relate to and this enables readers to feel engaged with the characters. We then see the impact of Grandpa’s dementia on these activities and how Buddy’s family helps him develop an understanding of the disease. With love and awareness, Buddy and Grandpa can still be best friends.

The illustrations and text are pitched well and the book has all the ingredients needed to open up a dialogue about a very difficult subject with tenderness and honesty. The book has a special warmth, not always apparent in children’s books that discuss dementia. As a result, families, teachers and health professionals will find it very useful.

The author is clearly experienced in the area of dementia and committed to raising awareness. The book contains useful tips for adults who would like to discuss dementia with their children and includes a well-thought-out question and answer page for young readers. I smile for Grandpa is written and published in Canada and contains some American English, but this does not detract from the engagement with the story.

Review by Suzie A