It is difficult for adults to explain to young children what is happening when a grandparent begins to lose his or her mental faculties. Lenny is sad when his lovely King Lion grandfather shows signs of dementia. Why does he throw his crown in the bin? Why does he sometimes forget Lenny’s name? And why does he sleep so much and is sometimes unkind? It is Hippo who explains to Lenny and the other animals why King Lion is behaving so oddly: ‘He’s getting old, and bits of him are wearing out.’ Lenny has an idea of how to help – he will take Granddad’s old marbles and talk to him about when he was a boy. Granddad’s other animal friends also talk with him about their stories from long ago when they were all young, and while Granddad’s mental state continues to get worse, he is cheered by their recollections, and ultimately he tells Lenny that one day he will be King in his stead. We don’t see Granddad come to the end of his life, but we do see Lenny as King with a son, whom he tells of the importance of being kind to one’s grandparents. Varley wrote and illustrated the wonderful Badger’s Parting Gifts, a classic story about death, and her pictures here, along with Jarman’s moving and sensitive text, will prove another classic, this time about dementia.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2015-09-05 12:58:002021-07-15 11:59:25Lovely Old Lion
Illustrator: Susan Varley