Noah’s Grandpa is an energetic, operatic powerhouse of fun. He starts singing at sunrise with a booming tune to greet the day. He sings while he and Noah walk the dog, calling up songs for all weather and all occasions. There is a song for making (or burning) cinnamon French toast, and a song for tuna salad without celery. No wonder Noah adores spending time with his buoyant, upbeat Grandpa who always finds joy in the song of life.
But when Grandpa’s memories begin to fade, Noah is hurt and unsure how to respond. Grandma, ever patient and supportive, steps in to help Noah understand the nuances of his changing relationship with Grandpa. No surprise, a few simple notes provide a pathway for Noah and Grandpa to reconnect once again on the sunny side of life.
If young readers do not know all the tunes referenced in Levine’s story, take this opportunity to introduce them to classics like “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” from the musical Oklahoma! (as sung by the delightful Nathaniel Hackmann) or “Suppertime” from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Katie Kath’s lightly layered illustrations play a beautiful lilting melody with delicate watercolors that highlight the joy and energy Grandpa and Noah share in good times. Washing color from portions of the images subtly reinforces the fading of Grandpa’s memories in a visual language that even the youngest readers will grasp. Check out the activity page on Kath’s website for three terrific craft ideas to accompany the story.
To learn more about WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING, visit the stops on its virtual tour featuring these fine blogs:
8/2 Flowering Minds
8/5 Stacking Books
8/10 Two Writing Teachers
8/12 Geo Librarian
8/13 Randomly Reading
From the publisher: WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MORNING is the touching story of a young boy who learns to accept his grandfather’s gradual memory loss and enjoy the fun, beautiful moments they still have together. Inspired by his relationship with his father, acclaimed publisher and editor Arthur A. Levine tackles the challenging subject of a deteriorating loved one with sensitivity, tender prose, and a powerful, uplifting message. Paired with Katie Kath’s vivid watercolor illustrations that carefully express each emotional detail, this book is a reassuring ode to how love can help us find even what we think is lost.