Finding Granny. Edie’s fun loving, snuggling, creative, awesome Granny isn’t Granny anymore. Will she be able to find her Granny again with time?
Title: Finding Granny – You Never Really Lose the People We Love
Author: Kate Simpson
Illustrator: Gwynneth Jones
ISBN:9781925335699 Language: English
Themes: family, disability, art
What’s it about?
This is the story of a young girl called Edie who adores Granny and the time that they spend together. Then one day Granny is taken away in an ambulance to hospital after having a stroke. At first Edie doesn’t feel like the woman is “her Granny” but a bit of paint might just be the thing to help in finding ‘her’ Granny again.
A topic that has been sensitively written about in a way that children can understand. The story and the illustrations work well together and I love that the illustrations are semi-realistic to make the book easier to relate to.
Finding Granny is due to be released tomorrow, 1st July 2018 by EK Books.
I really like this book. As a child I remember that the mother of one of my friends had suffered a stroke. It was very different as a 7 (maybe 8?) year old to understand exactly what they meant at the time – it had occured several years prior. At the time it took a while for me to understand that she had had to learn to do many things again including how to walk and talk as well as still needing to manage one of her arms that was not as responsive as a result of the stroke. So when I read this book it really hit a spot for me because it explains the before/after reality that many family members must manage in the wake of a stroke.
The illustrations by Gwynneth Jones are just perfect for this book. I would probably describe them as a bit of a whimsical realistic style – you may remember Gwynneth as the illustrator of The Chalk Rainbow (also by EK Books) that I reviewed last month. She manages to really convey the fun relationship that Edie has with her grandmother as well as the reality of life after the stroke (see the trailer for more about the look of the book).
I think this book has a number of purposes that would work well in the classroom. Firstly, you have the 1-on-1 connection that an individual student may need after a family member having a stroke – most likely this would come via a school counsellor versus the teacher. By making the book available it provides an opportunity for a child to explore the topic on their own (even if unable to read the words the pictures do a great job of telling the story on their own) and then ask questions with someone they feel comfortable with.
The second way I would see this book being used in the classroom is when looking at empathy or disabilities. It’s important to note, like in the case I described above, that it isn’t just older people who suffer from strokes. This is a great way to explore medical conditions like a stroke or heart attack which have a rehabilitation aspect – it also helps to create a sense of empathy for others and not judging them on face value (I remember another man was constantly teased by children because they thought he was a drunk when in fact he had suffered a stroke and his speech was still quite badly impacted by it).
Overall, it’s another beautiful and meaninful book released by EK Books and one that would suit any classroom or library (though wouldn’t it be awesome if hospitals also grabbed a few copies to have ready to help children understand what’s happening?).