My Grandma’s Photos (Özge Bahar Sunar)

Hello, friends! Our book today is My Grandma’s Photos, written by Özge Bahar Sunar, illustrated by Senta Urgan, and translated by Amy Marie Spangler, a bittersweet look at aging, loss, and memory.

Ali’s grandmother seems confused sometimes; her eyes and ears aren’t as sharp as they once were, she needs help during meals, and she spends all of her time in her chair or asleep. One day, Ali’s mom hopes to jog Grandma’s memory with old photos, but the elderly woman does not recognize any of the faces in them. Later, when examining the photos again, Ali points out that the little girl in the photo looks like Grandma, a comment that begins a journey through time and memory for grandmother and grandchild – one with an important lesson on the memories we make, alone and together.

Hauntingly lovely. This Turkish import is definitely on the cerebral side, and may be a little dense for younger readers. However, for those young bookworms who have questions about loss, grief, aging, memory loss, or the afterlife (particularly in secular households), this is a gentle tale that incorporates all these themes in a unique and touching way. The dreamlike illustrations, which incorporate real photos and objects, are a little confusing at times, even though they fit the general vibe of the story. The length is fine for an elementary-aged storytime, and though JJ was a little puzzled by the story itself, she enjoyed the photographic and symbolic elements in the art. Overall, this one may be an acquired taste; however, when examining the process of grief and death, sometimes a special narrative like this one can bring comfort and peace. Definitely worth a look, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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