Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A BEAUTIFUL PEARL by Nancy Whitelaw


by Nancy Whitelaw & illustrated by Judith Friedman

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8075-0599-4
Publisher: Whitman

 A poignant account of a child (she looks like a middle grader) visiting Grandma, who has Alzheimer's, with her mother. It's Lisa's birthday, and each year Grandma has given her a pearl to add to her necklace. This year, Grandma is so disoriented and confused that the gift seems in doubt; but in the end there's a glimmer of her old self, and she finds the gift where she has hidden it--in the refrigerator. Whitelaw seamlessly includes flashbacks and bits of explanation to complete her realistic picture of a family's interaction with a tragically deteriorating loved one, and she includes an intelligent note on the disease. Friedman's illustrations, some of which contrast Grandma in the past and the present, are unusually sensitive and perceptive. A warm, gentle story, bibliotherapy at its best. (Young reader/Picture book. 7-10)