When old age takes its toll on Grandpa’s memory, Noah learns to value every moment with him.
Noah’s summer days with Grandpa are full of fun activities. They boom out a loud song together as they make morning coffee. More songs fill the air as they walk the dog before breakfast; when they return home, they get to eat Grandma’s special cinnamon French toast. One morning, Grandpa forgets how to cut his French toast and can’t remember who Noah is. Noah runs out of the house, a painful lump in his throat. Fortunately, Grandma is able to explain that Grandpa gets confused sometimes. “We have to appreciate what he still has.” Noah goes ahead, walking the dog by himself, feeding the birds, and plunking out one of Grandpa’s favorite tunes on the piano. Grandpa suddenly appears, his bright old self, singing the song at the top of his lungs. Levine treats his sensitive subject with simple pathos. Kath depicts a loving white trio; Noah’s parents are not in evidence, letting readers imagine either that he is a regular overnight visitor or that he lives with his grandparents. She uses color subtly, graying her movement-filled line-and-watercolor paintings for those moments when Grandpa forgets and filling them with color when he remembers. Readers who also find themselves with cognitively failing loved ones would do well to heed Noah’s wisdom as he plans “to go for as long as the song would last.”
Both lovely and deeply empathetic. (Picture book. 5-7)