Thursday, December 10, 2015

When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember - a bookwrap

Unwrapping some thoughts about Dementia...


Authored by Toby Haberkorn

Illustrations by Heather Varkarotas

Unwrapping some illustrations for you...

The illustrations are beautifully portrayed and visually could tell the story all on their own.  When you marry both the text and the artwork the message of the book rings out simple, loud and clear.  I love the bright, crisp illustrations that perfectly depict the journey of loss and sadness for all involved when someone deeply loved is struck with such an enervating disease.  

My review...

The number of people experiencing Alzheimer's and other dementia conditions is on the rise.   More and more families see loved ones literally fade away before their eyes.  It is a disease that is both frustrating and very, very sad.  

This wonderful, informative book shows you the affect it has on a young granddaughter and her Grammy who has dementia.  As the disease increases and Grammy gets lost, her mind detaches from the familiar things around her.  The one constant that is not lost is the love and care that each member of the family shares with her and with each other.  Discussions on what's happening to Grammy give the little girl comfort, understanding and hope during this very difficult time.  

She watches her beloved Grammy slip away from her.  Grammy changes from a vibrant, engaging women who loves to travel worldwide, host weekly card games with her friends and read fun books into someone who misplaces her keys, has to stop driving her car, cannot travel to far away exotic places anymore or read books as the words on the pages are now unfamiliar and undecipherable.  Grammy sits around and stares blankly at the things surrounding her like a lonely, lost piece of a puzzle.   

The thread that ties the family together is the power of words... sharing with each other what's happening to Grammy and the power of touch... many, many hugs... hugs of comfort, reassurance and love that each family member dispenses to one another.  

Although this is an adult topic the author tenderly writes about the disease in a straightforward manner that kid's 4 to 10 years old can understand.  The book is written to be a source for conversations about Grammy's condition,  thus installing compassion and understanding as this debilitating disease overtakes and changes her  forever.  

About the author...

There's no upside or sugar coating when it comes to dementia. It's terrible for everyone involved -- the person who becomes ill, the family and friends. For children, it can be especially difficult to understand what's happening to a loved one. I'd recommend this book for any child who has a loved one going suffering from this disease. I like the way it simply and kindly explains what is happening in terms children can understand without any clinical or medical discussion. In fact, the word "dementia" isn't even in the actual text. Even if your family isn't dealing with dementia, I think this book is of value for children. It teaches compassion and kindness -- values I hope my children learn and practice.

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It's a wrap.
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