Saturday, November 7, 2009

REVIEW: My Little Grandmother Often Forgets

Lindbergh, R.  (2007).  My Little Grandmother Often Forgets.  Cambridge, MA:  Candlewick Press.


PLOT SUMMARY:  Tom's grandmother has trouble remembering.  He and his family must help his little grandmother find things and go places.

This is a sweet and beautiful picturebook that addresses the sensitive issue of the decline in an elderly family member's memory in a gentle way.  The story is constructed as poetry with a lot of memorable couplets like "So I say, "I'm here now. / It's time for us."

The illustrations are done in soft watercolors and in ink and incorporate many swirls into the details of the images.  The paintings present a beautiful and detailed world of a boy with messy hair and his grandmother who has a big red hairstyle that holds her glasses for safekeeping.


This is a WONDERFUL--did you see that?  WONDERFUL!--picturebook to share with a child who has a relative who is having trouble with his or her memory, who has Alzheimer's or who has to come and live in the child's house or be sent to a nursing home for support.

As a character, Tom, shares both the frustrations and joys of being responsible for an elderly relative who needs assistance.  The grandmother's forgetfulness, while the book's subject is not the focus.  What has the potential to be an emotionally painful book to read is sweetened by how much time Tom and his grandmother spend together.  My Little Grandmother Often Forgets is about their relationship and the support Tom provides his grandmother.

For younger readers, the objects the grandmother is missing are still present in the illustrations, so a teacher can encourage them find them on the page.  In general this book could be used to encourage students to be helpful and patient with others.


"My little grandmother
can't find a thing."

"When she thinks about THEN,
she forgets about NOW."

"Now she takes me along,
and I help her keep track."


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