HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Grandma’s Precious Memories
Author: Katharine Yusuf
Illustrators: Marilyn Martin and Jean Bates
Publisher: Prairie Moon Publishers LLC, 2018
ISBN-13: 978-0999476505 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0999476505 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-0999476512 Paperback
ISBN-10: 0999476513 Paperback
Related website(s): http://www.PrairieMoonPublishers.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 4 – 10
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Yusuf, Katharine. Grandma’s Precious Memories (published in 2018 by Prairie Moon Publishers, P. O. Box 779, Nevada, MO 64772). Ellie loves to visit with her grandmother. Grandma and Ellie like to play bingo, dress up in the different colored necklaces that Grandma has won, and walk outside in the garden to see the roses. Grandma had even taught Ellie how to cook. However, one day Ellie comes to Grandma’s room, and Grandma seems different. She asks, “Sweetie, what’s your name?” Ellie, who hears a nurse tell her mother that Grandma’s not doing well today, is confused and becomes very upset. What is wrong with Grandma? Will she ever get better? How can her mother comfort Ellie?
Nearly every family knows someone—a relative, friend, or neighbor—who is living with some kind of dementia and memory loss. I can say from personal experience that it is a situation which is sorrowful and even a little frightening. Author Katherine Yusuf, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while in pharmacy school and worked as a clinical pharmacist until forced to retire due to increasing disabilities, wrote this book based on a dream which she had following a phone call from her mother who was very upset. She had visited Yusuf’s grandmother who suffers from memory loss and did not recognize her own daughter. When Yusuf told her mother about the dream, she was encouraged to write it down.
They decided that the story should be told from a child’s perspective because the problem is harder for children than adults to understand. The back contains four pages of both questions and activities for home or classroom use by groups, families, or individuals. There is even a recipe for Grandma;s lemon squares. The captivating text and pastel illustrations will help parents, teachers, counselors, and caregivers explain what can be done when a friend or family member is diagnosed with dementia and memory loss. Yosuf says, “If I can lend comfort and hope to just one person dealing with memory loss or dementia in a loved one, then this book will be worth it.”