LANE, Victoria (text) Kayleen West (illus.) Celia and Nonna Ford St, 2014 unpaged $24.95 ISBN 9781925000603 SCIS 1674018
Celia loves to visit her Nonna, especially for sleepovers. Together they bake biscotti, read storybooks (even up to 8 or 9) at bedtime and plunder the special cupboard full of jigsaws, colouring books, felts and all the things a little girl enjoys. Things change when Nonna sadly begins to become forgetful and has to move to a new home where there are people who can give her help when she needs it. The new house is spartan, it has no kitchen, no cooking smells, no cupboard for Celia’s playthings and only one bed – there will be no more sleep-overs, but there are coloured pencils and paper. Each week when Celia visits, she draws a new picture, mostly of Nonna’s old house, its rooms and garden until Nonna has an art collection and so her walls are no longer plain, but covered in colourful memories.
Celia and Nonna celebrates the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, tenderly navigating the changes that occur when age begins to take over and adjustments must be made. Nonna graciously accepts her new life, with new friends and activities and Celia learns to make a comforting link between the old and the new. The expressive illustrations perfectly complement the simple, poignant text. Celia’s drawings embellish the pages and endpapers with vibrant splashes of colour. Recommended for ages 4+.
reviewed by Joy Steward