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Summary: Javier loves everything about his grandmother. He knows he is lucky to have her in his life. But Grandma's become unpredictable. She is still that positive person she always was, but sometimes she forgets or struggles with words. This is a family story about a grandmother with dementia, that also includes lots of idioms and cliches.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 7
Age of Child: Read by a 9-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: The cover drew my daughter to the book and the colorful images kept her turning the pages. She was forever stopping to read us some of the cliches and commented several times about Paco, whom she saw as "mean and rude."
Adult Reader Reaction: I go back and forth on this story. I like the love Javier has for his grandmother and the story about loving an aging grandparent whose had a stroke. The barrage of cliches used to describe her lapses frustrated me and got old very quickly.
Pros: Adults trying to explain dementia or stroke will find this story helpful. Children close to their grandparents will find it a special story.
Cons: I don't know if it was intentional, but Javier looks like a girl. It may be the illustrator's way of creating a grandmother-granddaughter story even though Javier is always accompanied by "he" and "him."
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. If you need a book to explain this difficult message to kids, this is a helpful one.
Educational Themes: This is a story that can be used in two ways. One, to help a child understand - and have empathy for - stroke victims or people with dementia. It can also be a primer for cliches and idioms.
Notes: There is a Spanish Edition of this book available for purchase at the publisher's website.
The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.