A beloved grandfather’s memories ebb and flow.
A small child muses that Grandpa “sometimes…forgets things” and “sometimes…gets confused.” Still, while the narrator, Mommy, and Grandpa are at the beach, they engage in favorite activities together and watch the tide come in. The child is comforted to recall also having needed help in forgetful moments and also occasionally having behaved in perplexing ways. The child’s loving, easy forgiveness of Grandpa’s differences leads to understanding and acceptance of his predicament even though “sometimes, I get upset.” The child deals with these feelings—even the unsettling idea that Grandpa might forget his grandchild—by thinking about how scary forgetfulness must be. The author’s use of the tide as a metaphor for the way Grandpa’s memories softly drift in and out works persuasively. The simple strategies the protagonist employs to cope with the changes in Grandpa’s mental state are helpfully and naturally incorporated into the narrative. The reassuring, satisfying ending allows that loving family closeness can still prevail, particularly in dementia’s earlier stages. Artwork is loose and appealing, and the colorful, refreshing seashore scenes are inviting. Protagonist and family appear white; other persons in the background are depicted as ethnically and physically diverse.
This will be comforting for many readers. (Picture book. 4-7)