________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 7 . . . . November 21, 2008

cover The Little Word Catcher.

Danielle Simard. Illustrated by Geneviève Côté. Translated by Jill Corner.
Toronto, ON: Second Story Press, 2008.
24 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
ISBN 978-1-897187-44-9.

Subject Headings:
Grandmothers-Juvenile fiction.
Memory-Alzheimer's disease.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Suzanne Pierson.

**** /4

excerpt:

What if my grandmother hasn't really lost her words?
What if she hasn't worn them out like her old dresses?
What if she is giving them to me instead?
That would explain it. Giving is giving.
Once you give something away, you can't take it back!

 

Grandma is losing her words, confusing Elise with Francine, Grandma's old sister, and looking very sad when no one understands her. Mom is upset and even sadder than Grandma. Dad tries to explain, but his ideas don't seem quite right to Elise. Told from a child's perspective, this story examines the ways that Elise is trying to make sense of the changes in her grandmother.

internal art

     Danielle Simard has eloquently captured the whimsy of a child testing and considering a variety of answers to a puzzle. Gently told and beautifully illustrated and with an ending that is both believable and reassuring, The Little Word Catcher will offer a way to open conversations about Alzheimer's in a supportive manner.

     Geneviève Côté's softly muted illustrations match the gentle acceptance that Elise brings to her search for answers. The illustrations, in mixed media (watercolors, crayon, pastel, collage, photocopy and photoshop), won the 2007 Governor General's Award for Children's Literature Illustration (French Language).

     Although the topic of Alzheimer's may make some people uncomfortable, for families as yet untouched by the illness, this book can be a lovely bedtime story about the special relationship between a young girl and her grandmother. For families struggling with the changes that Alzheimer's brings about in families, The Little Word Catcher will be a gift.

Highly Recommended.

Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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