Soft cover (Picture book)
Age range 4 +
Celia and Nonna is a significant and heart-warming picture book about the special bond between children and grandparents– and what happens when life changes. Grandparents ageing is a universal experience, yet it is rarely told in picture book form. In this story, young Celia finds a delightful and positive way to navigate this confusing time.
The story invites kids to think about their grandparents’ ageing and may inspire them to simple activities such as drawing a picture for their grandma or granddad as a gift. The story begins with all the fun activities that Celia enjoys when she gets to sleep over at her grandmother’s house. They cook and bake cupcakes together. Celia has her own special cupboard full of activities. At bedtime, she gets not just one or two stories read to her but seven, eight or nine! Then things start to change. Celia notices that her grandma is starting to forget things. The forgetfulness escalates until it becomes clear that grandma will need someone to help look after her. This means moving out of her own home. The story does not name the illness that affects the grandma. It could be dementia, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s but the illness is not the focus of the book. The single biggest consequence of it is that the granddaughter, Celia, can no longer sleep over at her grandma’s house. As Celia observes that her beloved grandma is starting to forget things, this realisation can be the starting point for discussion about what happens to us as we get older. Our bodies ache, sometimes our memory fails. These discussions can help children develop empathy for family members who may be at a similar stage of life (grandparents, aunts and uncles) and older members of our community.