Children who may be frightened by a relative’s dementia will find reassurance in this informative, approachable story.



In this picture book, a little girl learns how music helps her grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Gabrielle, a young Caucasian girl, notices that her beloved grandmother seems dazed; the older woman also tries to get into the wrong car after they attend a ballet together. Later, Gabrielle’s mother explains that “Grandma has been having difficulty remembering recent events and is becoming confused” due to Alzheimer’s disease. Gabrielle wants to help her, and the next morning, she and her mom bring Grandma’s old record player down from the attic. Hearing her favorite songs, Grandma is smiling and happy, as she was during the ballet. Gabrielle learns that music helps Grandma connect with her memories and can also calm her. An author’s note explains more about Alzheimer’s disease and how music can help sufferers “retain identity, promote communication, and reduce anxiety.” Gerdner (Grandfather’s Story Cloth, 2015, etc.), a registered nurse, draws on the basic principles of an evidence-based protocol that she developed for using music to assist Alzheimer’s patients. The way that the mother involves young Gabrielle with the plan is a nice touch; for example, the girl helps carry Grandma’s scrapbook. Gearino’s full-page illustrations are warm, detailed, and softly colored, contributing to the soothing atmosphere.

Children who may be frightened by a relative’s dementia will find reassurance in this informative, approachable story.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9986864-0-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Pizzicato Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2017

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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.


From the There’s a…in Your Book series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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Unhei has just left her Korean homeland and come to America with her parents. As she rides the school bus toward her first day of school, she remembers the farewell at the airport in Korea and examines the treasured gift her grandmother gave her: a small red pouch containing a wooden block on which Unhei’s name is carved. Unhei is ashamed when the children on the bus find her name difficult to pronounce and ridicule it. Lesson learned, she declines to tell her name to anyone else and instead offers, “Um, I haven’t picked one yet. But I’ll let you know next week.” Her classmates write suggested names on slips of paper and place them in a jar. One student, Joey, takes a particular liking to Unhei and sees the beauty in her special stamp. When the day arrives for Unhei to announce her chosen name, she discovers how much Joey has helped. Choi (Earthquake, see below, etc.) draws from her own experience, interweaving several issues into this touching account and delicately addressing the challenges of assimilation. The paintings are done in creamy, earth-tone oils and augment the story nicely. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 10, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-80613-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2001

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