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 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.
7 to 10
4 to 9
Read by a 9-year-old girl.
Borrow. If you need a book to explain this difficult message to kids, this is a helpful one.
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."
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.
Adults trying to explain dementia or stroke will find this story helpful. Children close to their grandparents will find it a special story.
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."