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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
I Smile For Grandpa is a loving story about dementia disease for young children by Jaclyn Guenette and Kathryn Harrison. It's a beautiful story about the relationship between a grandfather and a grandchild whom the Grandpa called 'Little Buddy'. Little Buddy liked spending time with his grandfather, and he loved playing soccer with him. Grandpa was a pretty good goalie. Little Buddy and Grandpa went for walks together, they played hide and seek, and in summer they went camping, loved sitting by the fire, and toasted marshmallows. Little Buddy was sad when his mother told him one day that Grandpa had dementia. Grandpa did not play soccer anymore and Little Buddy's father accompanied them during their walks. Will Grandpa and Little Buddy still be friends?
This heartwarming story introduces children to dementia, what it means, and its symptoms. The 10 questions and answers at the end of the book are good to help young readers understand clearly everything associated with dementia. The illustrations breathe life into the characters and the scenes and give readers a better awareness and understanding about the disease. The author tackles the topic with care and gentleness, capturing the pain and angst that comes with the disease; not only to the person who has it but also to the family. Little Buddy realizes how his relationship with Grandpa changes after dementia alters his grandfather's behavior. This book is a good way to help children understand dementia and this story will touch the hearts of all readers.