We have just received the most beautiful book in our latest delivery. Now obviously all of our books are fantastic, as we are very picky about the choices we make, but this one is particularly special.
My New Granny, written by Elisabeth Steinkellner and delightfully illustrated by Michael Roher, is unlike any book I have ever had the pleasure to read. The subject matter is delicate, as it focuses on Alzheimer’s; in particular the effect that it can have on family life and the relationship between grandparent and grandchild.
What I admire most about this book is its directness, coupled with a gentle humour. Alzheimer’s is an incredibly emotive topic and can be very frightening, not just for the adults, but also for the children who form part of the family unit.
Steinkellner and Roher, in my humble opinion, achieve nothing short of greatness in this thoughtfully told tale. The reader feels empathy, not sympathy for the characters and that’s what is so special about this book. Empathy is a far more useful reaction than sympathy, because it allows us to remain rational. Feeling sorry for a family or individual is all well and good, but isn’t it better to gain an understanding if their situation, rather than simply get upset?
If you know someone going through the trials of Alzheimer’s and are struggling to explain it a child, I’d look no further than this powerful story.