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"The whole world opened to me when I learned to read." More
Summary: Josh loved spending time with Grandpa George. Whatever the adventure, Grandpa George celebrated the moment by blowing a perfect bubble with his gum. Grandpa George and Josh had plans on Saturday, but fate intervened. Grandpa was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. Josh was mad. This wasn't the real Grandpa George. Josh's grandfather liked to do stuff ... and he could talk. Then Grandpa George helps Josh find a way to share some fun together, even though he can't talk. This is a picture book that is an excellent conversation starter with kids dealing with aging grandparents.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 and Up
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Age of Child: Read with an 11-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Although Grandpa George and Josh did different kinds of things together, my daughter saw herself and her grandfather in the story. It touched her heart, and she liked talking about some of her grandfather's favorite things.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a beautifully told, enriching story. It doesn't sugar-coat what a stroke does, but it doesn't overplay it either. Although Grandpa George's diagnosis is a stroke, the story would work equally well with explaining other diseases that prevent communication (Parkinson's Disease, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, Lewy-Body Dimentia, et al) to kids.
Pros: This family-oriented story is engaging and sure to start discussions about grandparent-child memories.
Cons: None, really. I would like to have had some starter questions at the back for opening discussions with kids.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a lovely book worth having handy if your kids have a close relationship with their grandparents.
Educational Themes: There are so many ways to enjoy this book. There is an educational message for helping kids deal with aging relatives, but it can also be a nice read for sharing memories. On one page Josh is drawing pictures of Go-Karts because it is an activity he and Grandpa George recently enjoyed. Use that as a starting point for getting the kids to draw their own memories (or write a letter).
Notes: The Reading Tub reviewed the book in conjunction with an Author Showcase feature.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, health and aging
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2013
Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews found; see reader feedback at amazon.com.