Colorful, chaotic line drawings that incorporate elements of the story embellish this novel about a girl’s newfound relationship to her senile grandmother.
As the story opens, 9-year-old only-child Perry, denied even a pet by her well-meaning but goal-oriented parents, laments her lonely fate. “There was just Perry and her parents, and week after week after week full to the brim with after-school activities....” Little does she know, she’s about to begin spending much more time with her grandmother, Honora, whose move to Santa Lucia, an elder care facility nearby, happily coincides with the surprise cancellation of her weekly music-and-movement class. De Goldi’s quickly paced style is enormous fun to read and is well-suited to the wordplay that results when Perry embarks on creating an abecedary based on words she encounters during her visits with her Gran and the quirky, appealing residents and staff of Santa Lucia. Perry’s precocious, gregarious nature will win readers’ hearts, even if at times some of the humor might appeal more to adults than kids; they’ll better understand the joke, for example, when, as her dad tries to explain his use of a figure of speech, Perry innocently exclaims, “I’m a Figure of No Speech.”
Clever, poignant and sweetly funny, this will be especially appreciated by those who’ve experienced a loved one with dementia. (Fiction. 8-12)