Review: GG & Mamela by Belinda Brock, Illustrated by Avi Katz
This picture book celebrates the loving relationship between Lily and her great-grandmother (GG) as her life starts to slow and wind down in hospice. GG and Mamela illustrates how strength and comfort can be found through love, family and tradition. This book offers a gentle and open-ended way to start a conversation about death and dying, as well as introduce the concept of hospice care.
This book became somewhat personal to me as my own parent had to have hospice at the end of his life. Unlike, GG, my Dad had hospice at home. I cannot say enough about how kind they were!
When someone is dying, it is difficult for adults to deal with and very confusing for children. I loved how this book allowed Mamela's father to express his sorrow and yet, help Mamela to understand that it was ok too. That even though her GG (Great-Grandma) is dying, she will always be...her GG!
The book pointed out that the strength in families, the comforts of home, and sometimes repetition is what gets you by. In the case of Mamela and GG, it was the telling of stories and making GG's secret chicken noodle soup. In fact, the book ends with the recipe for her soup. That made me smile.
The illustrations were done is watercolor and added a realness to the book. Although the book seems to end abruptly, the reader does not need to know the true ending because in truth it is a reality. This story book would certainly help children through the processes of a loved one being in hospice and leave opportunities for questions and discussion
Disclosure: I received this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours.
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