I Love You to the Stars by Crystal Bowman:
As we age, we joke about being forgetful or having a senior moment. But when memory loss is the result of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it isn’t funny anymore. With the Baby Boomer population aging, dementia is on the rise. It is estimated that 1 in 10 adults over the age of 65 has some form of dementia. This debilitating disease affects not only the person, but the extended family as well. How do parents explain to their children that Grandma or Grandpa no longer knows their name? Children are sad and confused when the relationship they enjoyed is no longer there. Parents need resources to help children understand why things are different. I Love You to the Stars, When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers (Kregel Publishing 2020), is a picture book that enables parents to explain memory loss to a child.
The story begins when Grandma and her dog, Sunny, move in with a young boy and his mother. The boy and his grandma spend hours doing puzzles, reading books, and going to the park. One day, when the boy returns home from school, Grandma is in the driveway with a police officer. She and Sunny went for a walk and got lost. Things continue to worsen when she misplaces items in the house and when she no longer engages in activities. The mother explains that Grandma’s mind is sick and now it is their turn to help her. When they can no longer care for her, she moves to a home where caregivers help with her daily needs. The boy, his mom, and Sunny visit her often and enjoy spending time with her again. The message in the story is that even though memories may fade, love will always last.
* * *
Book review by Xochitl Dixon:
In Crystal Bowman’s I Love You to the Stars, readers are introduced to a close-knit family facing the heart-breaking decline of a loved one who suffers from dementia. Bowman’s gentle tone comforts readers as a young boy learns how to care for his grandmother while she transitions into a live-in facility. The illustrations complement the text, showing a policeman helping the grandmother find her way home after getting lost and the mother grieving over the initial diagnosis. Each intimate scene offers readers opportunities to discuss and process the difficult circumstances and emotions families experience while serving as caregivers for dementia patients. The grandmother’s dog adds a sweet sense of hope throughout the story as young readers discover how this life-changing disease impacts everyone involved. I Love You to the Stars empowers young readers with the vocabulary to express their feelings as they step into a healthy supporting role and offer the priceless gift of sacrificial love.
~ Xochitl Dixon (www.xedixon.com), Our Daily Bread writer and author of Different Like Me, a children’s picture book that celebrates our differences and sameness as God’s beautifully diverse and purposefully connected people.
* * *
Crystal Bowman is an award-winning bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and 4 nonfiction books for women. She is the creator and co-author of Our Daily Bread for Kids and Devotions for Beginning Readers. She has written books for many popular series including, Boz the Bear, The Berenstain Bears, Little Blessings, and The Princess Parables. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and stories for Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She and her husband live in Michigan and enjoy their 7 huggable grandchildren.