Review Blog

Sep 03 2014

Celia and Nonna by Victoria Lane and Kayleen West

cover image

Ford St Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978925000603 (hardback). ISBN 978192000601 (paperback).
Highly recommended. This is a beautiful picture book and story of Celia and how she deals with her Nonna having to go to a nursing home.
Celia loves visiting Nonna's house where she has a special cupboard with all her books, puzzles and games. Nonna and Celia cook and play games together and best of all Nonna reads so many bedtime stories Celia gets mixed up between penguins and fairies.
Sadly Nonna starts to forget little things and then gets locked out of her house. One day while shopping she feels a little twinge and realises that she can no longer look after herself. Nonna moves to a nursing home. Celia can no longer stay overnight, hates the smell of Nonna's room and has no special drawer for all her things.
How Celia works through her issues and helps Nonna settle into her new home makes for a delightful and positive story richly illustrated by Kayleen West.
This is a very special story for younger children about change and ageing, and lightly touches on the issues of Alzheimer's and dementia. It shows how imagination can overcome problems and is of course a wonderful exploration of the special bond between children and grandparents.
The illustrations are wonderful and enhance the story. I loved the picture of Nonna and her new friends gathered around the piano for a sing-along beautifully illustrating how she is indeed settling into her new life.
I highly recommend Celia and Nonna with its light and deft touch to what can be a very difficult issue for families.
Michael Jongen

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