cover image Always Gramma

Always Gramma

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21542-1

Alzheimer's disease is never named in a girl's first-person narration of the declining memory of a grandmother, but it fits all the descriptions offered. ``I remember'' is the phrase the girl repeats, as she recalls all the good times she had with Gramma before the older woman became confused and disoriented. When she is put in a home, the girl's mother and Grampap visit every day. But the best visits are from the girl herself, who is content to sit and tell her grandmother about all the things that happen to her each day. The girl's intuitive understanding of what her grandmother needs from her is very sensitively wrought; this also comes across in Uhler's color-washed paintings. Certain passages of this are almost unbearably sad, and yet the story (and the girl's relationship with her grandmother) is redeemed by the message of hope at the end, and the tender exchange of roles. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)