Reviews for My Grandpa

Booklist Reviews 2013 May #1
In a spare, simple first-person account, a young bear introduces "My Grandpa" and shares their special relationship. Grandpa is becoming forgetful and confused, but the little bear still loves him. They walk and hug and play and pretend, and even when the older bear seems to lose touch, they remain connected. Altés centers her sweet watercolor figures, rendered in shades of brown and red, on uncluttered white backgrounds. Here and there birds and trees and imaginary tigers fill in the space, but for the most part, the spreads' open clarity establishes a sense of tranquility. The lack of specificity, combined with the little bear's indeterminate gender, also allows for universal connection. Grandpa bear's dementia is communicated with gentle sensitivity in terms young children can understand. Indeed, this is as much a story of a happy relationship as it is a story about the circumstances that threaten it. The warm imagery and gentle telling have appeal well beyond the utility of the subject matter and make this an interesting choice for a storytime read-aloud. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
A small bear describes his relationship with his aging grandfather. Although at times his grandfather fails to recognize his grandson, their hugs and time spent together remain important. This is a kind, understated story about the realities of dementia and the love shared between generations. Warm colors and plenty of rounded shapes make for a comforting reading experience.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
The relationship between grandfather and grandson is evocatively portrayed in this spare but powerful look at the warm interdependency of age and youth. A bespectacled, light brown, mature bear walks with a cane against a stark white background. A bright red leaf--perhaps signaling the beginning of the autumn season or his time in life--swirls to the ground and briefly captures the bear's attention before he focuses on a flock of small birds, some red and others brown. "My grandpa is getting old… // Sometimes he feels alone." A page turn reveals a spunky candy red young bear bursting onto the scene to greet his relative: "But then I come along!" The birds take to the sky, and the duo begins their time together. The language has a gentle and comforting, back-and-forth rhythm. "When he is with me, he smiles. / When I am with him, I can fly!" An especially humorous spread first shows Grandpa's head buried in a newspaper and then turning up his nose at an offered spoonful from his grandson. "At times he behaves like an old man. / At times he's like a child." Although the elder has moments of struggle with his memory or getting lost, the young one comes to the rescue with a hug or a guiding hand. Altés employs an elegant restraint with the book's design. The limited palette and broad expanse of white space allow the story to truly shine. Even though titles about aging grandparents are many, this tale stands out for its stunning simplicity and avoidance of heavy-handed messages. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

PreS-Gr 1--This gentle and affecting book is narrated by a young bear whose grandfather is exhibiting signs of advanced age and dementia. The simple text uses single sentences that vacillate between the joy of the pair's loving bond and the young bear's honest look at Grandpa's decline. "At times he behaves like an old man. At times he's like a child. Occasionally he doesn't recognize me… but my hugs can solve it." Watercolor illustrations in a palette of red, brown, and beige contrast the vibrancy of the young bear (red) against his grandpa (muted beige). In spite of the weighty topic, the cartoon spreads have charm and humor, as when Grandpa stands in front of the television holding an umbrella because he's "lost." Evident throughout is the affection, care, and love these two exhibit toward one another, even as their roles are slowly reversing. An accessible and touching look at aging for young children.--Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

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