The Little Word Catcher
by Danielle Simard
illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Second Story Press, 2008
$14.95 (hc), 24 pp colour illustrations ages 5 – 8
The gentle, poignant illustrations set the tone for this story of how a child recaptures her grandmother’s words as they are lost to Alzheimer’s disease. Although Elise does not understand why her grandmother keeps forgetting words, she is more than happy to find them for her, which brings a smile back to her grandmother’s face. This story depicts a loving family, coping with the aging and mental decline of a once vibrant and articulate woman, finding joy as well as sadness as inevitable change touches them. It could be used to encourage discussion about family health issues your students are experiencing at home, to explore the concept of change, or as part of a unit on families to illustrate the intergenerational bonds among family members. The Little Word Catcher was first published in French and won the 2007 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature Illustration (French Language). This is a very lovely book that captures the thoughts of a child with remarkable skill in both writing and illustrating.
This review is from Canadian Teacher Magazine’s March 2009 issue.