Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost (Hardback)
  • Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost (Hardback)
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Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost (Hardback)

(author), (illustrator), (translator)
£12.99
Hardback 44 Pages / Published: 27/01/2022
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A beautiful, candid picture book for children to understand what happens when a loved one begins suffering from dementia, and how best to care for them.


A 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

A Finalist for the 2022 Kirkus Prize in Young Readers' Literature

A USBBY Outstanding International Book of 2022

A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2022

A 2021 Penn Graduate School of Education Best Book for Young Readers

Gerontological Society of America Book Award for Best Children's Literature on Aging of 2022, Honorable Mention


Stump always has a fantastic time with his grandparents, filled with flowers, puzzles, crosswords, and endless love. But one day, Stump's grandfather starts to lose his memory-and his words, which literally fall from him. Stump tries his best to keep the lost words safe, collecting them in a special box. But Grandpa seems to forget more and more everyday, and the situation comes to a head one snowy night when Stump wakes up to find Grandpa missing. Together, Stump and Grandma must find new ways to connect with Grandpa, and show him that he's not alone. This poignant, tender picture book depicts the struggle of coping with a loved one's dementia with honesty and sensitivity, with a message of hope that affirms the deep bonds of love between grandchild and grandparent.


This book includes an afterword to the adult reader about dementia and recollection, written by Ove Dahl, a historian and head of the Danish Center for Reminiscence. He provides some practical tips, as illustrated in the story with Stump, for establishing a meaningful way of being together when caring for a relative with dementia.

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
ISBN: 9781592703739
Number of pages: 44
Dimensions: 266 x 215 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A 2022 Mildred L. Batchelder Honor Book

A Finalist for the 2022 Kirkus Prize in Young Readers' Literature

A USBBY Outstanding International Book of 2022

A Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2022

A 2021 Penn Graduate School of Education Best Book for Young Readers

A 2022 Gerontological Society of America Book Award for Best Children's Literature on Aging, Honorable Mention


"A gentle, sensitively crafted story of intergenerational relationships, the text is an honest, affirming portrayal of love, dementia, depression, frustration, and hope. Lush illustrations support the poetic, poignant, and powerful text's messages." -American Library Association

"Love endures, even as memories are lost, in this inspiring, compassionate, and necessary story." -Dr. Marie A. Lejeune, 2022 Batchelder Chair


"A child observes as Grandpa loses first words, then abilities and memories. Birkjaer's matter-of-fact text, translated from Danish, and Kjaergaard's graceful, impressionistic illustrations are both sophisticated and child-friendly. Gentle yet forthright, this stirring, evocative picture book makes a topic that even adults find difficult accessible for a young audience." -Kirkus editors, in the announcement for the finalists for the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers

"A special relationship between grandfather and the grandchild he calls Stump changes as Grandpa slides into dementia. The story gently and positively documents a very common Alzheimer's progression-from loss of words to loss of competence in many areas. Told in present tense, it moves from a time when Stump's grandfather knew the Latin names of all the plants he cared for to a time when he could no longer do jigsaw puzzles or set the table and had lost interest in nearly everything. It's the child who first notices changes... The lengthy, relatively simple text, smoothly translated from the Danish by Kongerskov, rests atop cream-colored pages opposite full-bleed illustrations. Gouache pastels depict the cozy interior of the grandparents' house, the lush flowers of the sunroom, and the cold gray of the snowy night of searching. Colorful at the beginning, the palette shrinks to grays as Grandpa's depression and dementia set in; color returns with the positive ending. Child-centered, accurate, and engagingly told." -Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW


"This Danish import tells a tenderly crafted (and seamlessly translated) story about dementia as if affects an intergenerational relationship... Kjaergaard depicts Grandpa's sunroom as filled with oversized, eye-catching flowers, infused with primarily rose, salmon, and cornflower tones. (The world-building she does here is impressive; it's a home we want to step into and characters we come to care about.) As Grandpa forgets his words, he forgets his flowers too - and they begin to droop. Here, Kjaergaard also uses color effectively, a cool blue taking over several spreads as Grandpa's memory worsens." -Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast


"The first-person account is clear and unadorned. This down-to-earth narration, combined with the dreamy quality of Kjaergaard's paintings, successfully conveys the poignancy of Grandpa's progressing dementia and Stump's deep love for him. The artist uses soft edges, layers of watercolor, and a gentle pastel palette, which flattens to shades of gray and blue as winter arrives and Grandpa's memory fails. The final spread, in which he happily holds his rabbit, revives some of the bright colors and flowers from the opening pages, as Stump's gift restores, for at least a moment, some of Grandpa's former self. A detailed, thoughtful afterword about dementia and memory loss adds a useful layer to this emotional story." -The Horn Book


"Translated from Danish and told from the perspective of a grandson named Stump, the narrative begins as a warm family story about cozy visits working crossword and jigsaw puzzles together. The cover illustration featuring giant flower blooms highlight[s] the importance of the flowers to the family, and immediately demonstrates the loving relationship of the grandfather and grandchild. When Grandpa starts to forget small things, ... the illustrations depict the child collecting actual words, such as rose, coffee, tulip, and rabbit, into a box. Stump recognizes that something is happening to Grandpa before either grandparent acknowledges a problem, and he tries to remind Grandpa of their connection. A crisis forces Grandma to confront the situation, and she becomes able to respond with love and compassion. Heartbreakingly beautiful and sad, this evocative mix of realism and fantasy uses images and words to speak to the consciousness of a child. An explanatory note provides helpful insight for families about using objects and long-term memories to connect to a loved one with dementia." -Booklist


"In a moving portrayal of late-life dementia, a young girl describes her grandfather's growing disorientation and the effect on his wife in Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost, a tender picture book for children ages 5-9 written by Betina Birkjaer. In Anna Margrethe Kjaergaard's soft watercolors, we see beautiful scenes from a close intergenerational relationship. The girl loves to watch her grandfather tending his plants (he knows all their botanical names in Latin), and at breakfast she does the crossword with both grandparents. One day, when the crossword clue is 'a four-letter word for a fragrant flower with thorns,' the grandfather can't find the word 'rose.' ... 'Autumn arrives,' the girl tells us, 'and as the trees lose more and more of their leaves, Grandpa loses more and more of his words.' There is an unusually truthful quality to this beautiful book, which doesn't shy from showing the painful realities of memory loss but which also points the way to a new, consolatory kind of family love. Translated from the Danish by Sinead Quirke Kongerskov, Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost recently won a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor as an outstanding children's book originally published in a foreign language and country." -Wall Street Journal

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