What a Beautiful Morning
Author: Arthur A. Levine; Illustrator: Katie Kath
Published TODAY!: August 9, 2016 by Running Press Kids
Goodreads Summary: Every morning is beautiful when Noah visits his Grandparents. When Grandpa and Noah wake up, they take off singing and hardly stop: walking the dog, splashing through puddles, and eating French toast with cinnamon. But one summer Grandpa seems to have forgotten how to do the things they love. Does he even know who Noah is? Grandma steps in energetically, filling in as best she can. But it is Noah who finds the way back to something he can share with Grandpa. Something musical. Something that makes the morning beautiful again. This is a story about how love helps us find even what we think is lost.
My Review and Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a beautiful story—from cover to cover. I was enveloped by the watercolor images and words that took me inside Noah and Grandpa’s story. My toddler sat beside me and pointed to the images as I read aloud to him. While he may not have understood the story, he most certainly understood the love between Noah and his grandfather. Elementary school children will develop knowledge of the scary truths of Alzheimer’s disease. While it may feel more comfortable to shield children from these truths, the disease is very much a reality for millions of families, and this book will bring them comfort as they discuss the development of this disease in our loved ones.
Teachers might consider teaching a unit about diseases or disabilities. Texts such as these are very important for students to learn from, and this book is no exception. This might lead into a research unit where students explore and learn more about the diseases or disabilities they find within the books the teacher discusses. However, I most appreciated that this isn’t a book about Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a book is truly about the love between a child and his grandfather.
Discussion Questions: When does Noah first notice that Grandpa is having trouble remembering things? How does he react? How does Grandma react?; How does the illustrator use color to help readers better understand the story?; How does the book end? Did you like the ending? How does it connect to the beginning of the story and the overall message?
Read This If You Loved: Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan; The Memory Box by Mary Bahr, Still My Grandma by Veronique Van Den Abeele, Really and Truly by Emilie Rivard, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, written by Mem Fox, What’s Happening to Grandpa? by Maria Shriver
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