'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 31 January 2016

Review: When I See Grandma

A little girl visits her grandmother in a nursing home, brightening her day with songs and stories, dancing and sunshine. As the little girl shares special moments from her life, she triggers scenes from her grandmother’s life where those same things – music, stories, playing, hugs and dancing – stir happy memories of love and family.

When I See Grandma is a beautifully written story that bridges the age gap between children and their elderly grandparents or great grandparents. The text by Debra Tidball is engaging and warm, capturing the beautiful relationship between the girl and her grandmother. The illustrations by Leigh Hedstrom echo the young girl’s actions in memories from the grandmother’s life, providing a points of connection between the two characters, and also encouraging readers to consider the points of connection they might have with their own parents and grandparents.

The story concludes with the passing of the grandmother, with the family gathered about her bedside. The text and illustrations as the story closes are poignant and I’ve yet to read this book without shedding a tear or two. The young girl’s love for her grandmother is particularly touching given her grandmother’s frailty throughout the story.

When I See Grandma is a wonderful picture book for home and the classroom. The story offers opportunities to consider connections between the generations, as well as offering parents and carers a way to raise the topics of aging and death in a way that is gentle and age appropriate. This special story is one that will tug your heartstrings and remind you to take the time to cherish important family relationships.

Title: When I See Grandma
Author: Debra Tidball
Illustrator: Leigh Hedstrom
Publisher: Wombat Books, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 March 2014
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781921632594
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book