Friday, April 25, 2014

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 25th April 2014 - "Grandma's Gloves" by Cecil Castellucci and Julia Denos (Walker Books)

Grandma's Gloves

Written by Cecil Castellucci

Illustrated by Julia Denos

Published by Walker Books

I really wish we had the opportunity to review Walker Books more often (hint hint massive hint!). I'd never heard of "Grandma's Gloves" before, but like quite a few of our library picks, we were both completely entranced by the cover of this one and grabbed it straight away.

I didn't preview the book before taking it home but had an inkling that it would be a book rightly celebrating fantastic grandmas.

There is a lot more to it than that though, in fact I half wish I had previewed it because it had such a powerful effect on Charlotte - even more so when she next saw her own Grandma.

The little girl in the story narrates the book, and introduces us to Grandma, who is always pottering around in the garden with a huge pair of flowery gloves on, who always knows the right thing to say, and who dishes up the most scrumptious fare. The little girl loves her very much, so part way through the book when Grandma is taken ill, is not herself and eventually dies, it's like a thumping great big whump in the heart.

The book thoughtfully and sensitively deals with the loss of a loved one through gentle text and the most sublime illustrations, delicate and beautiful. The impact of Grandma's loss is felt by both the girl and her mother, and as friends and family gather to remember Grandma, each has their own particular special memory or reminiscence of a truly wonderful lady.

Children think about mortality (their own, and those they love and cherish) more than we give them credit for and in some ways parents (particularly softies like me) try to protect them from grief and loss as much as possible for as long as possible. Books like this help hugely, and particularly help us to impart to our children the importance of enjoying our elders, celebrating them whenever we can and ensuring that we never forget them when they pass.

What a truly wonderful book to find amongst the library stacks.

Charlotte's best bit: A book that made her think about her own grandparents, and love and cherish them even more than she already does.

Daddy's Favourite bit: Thoughtful and sensitive handling of an uber-tough subject. Absolutely in love with Julia's illustrations in this, they're just so fantastic.

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