The Little Word Catcher

The Little Word Catcher9781897187449_p0_v1_s260x420The Little Word Catcher

By Danielle Simard, Author

Genevieve Cote, Illustrator

Second Story Press, Fiction, 2008

Suitable for Ages: 5-8

Themes: Grandparents, Memory Loss, Family Relationships

Opening: “Did you know that words could get lost? My Grandmother misplaces her words all the time. She loses them even more often than her keys. Do they fly off just to play tricks on her? I wonder where they go.”

Synopsis: Elise watches her grandmother begin to lose her words. Sometimes her grandmother is sad. annoyed, and frustrated when she can’t remember her words.  Elise is puzzled because her grandmother knew millions of words. Are her words hiding? Can she catch every single lost word in a net and bring them back to her grandmother before it’s too late?  A special bond develops between grandmother and granddaughter.  And Elise decides that her grandmother’s words are wearing out like an old dress. And maybe her grandmother is giving the words they shared to her as a gift.

What I like about this book:  Danielle Simard has written a moving and sensitive story about a girl trying to make sense of her grandmother’s memory loss.  I especially like how Simard allows the girl to come up with her own heartwarming thoughts about memory loss and how she chooses to deal with her grandma. Such beautiful and inspiring text with a loving and satisfying ending.  This is one of the most unusual stories I’ve read about grandparents with memory loss or dementia. I highly recommend The Little Word Catcher if you have aging loved ones with memory issues. Genevieve Cote’s award-winning watercolors are whimsical and emotive. They add some lightness to a serious topic.

Resources: The book alone is a great resource to use to start a discussion with your children when you have aging parents with memory loss. Parents may want to check out the Kids and Teen page of the Alzheimer’s Association and a post from the Carolina Parent blog about Talking to Kids About Aging Grandparents.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.



About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

36 thoughts on “The Little Word Catcher

  1. What a super creative and visual way of helping kids understand memory loss in older adults. That cover is adorable.


    • Memory loss is an important subject with so many children seeing grandparents with memory loss. But, it’s tricky to write about in a childlike way. You’d enjoy studying the author’s style. And, you’d love the illustrations.


  2. What a fun story idea to deal with the agony of dementia! Thanks for sharing and the great review, Pat!


  3. I recognized Genevieve’s style immediately. I have her book Wishes or Little Wishes something like that. This sounds lovely too.


  4. I need a word-catcher for sure! I’ve got an extra insect net hanging around…. maybe it will do? what a wonderful idea for a story. I am going to read this one for sure.


  5. What a fantastic book! Such a joyful cover. I think that my Mom Person needs a word catcher sometimes. Maybe she’s giving them to me. I’ll have to check this one out for sure. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Amazing book, Pat! You do know how to pick them. 😉 I love the whole concept of it…and it is so true…just beautifully done…I’m going to see if my library has a copy.


  7. I am so moved by your description of this book. It sounds like it models coping with a difficult, and unfortunately very common, topic in a beautifully constructive way. I will definitely take a look.


  8. I have heard of this book before and I think it is such a lovely story idea. We tend to get impatient at times with our ageing parents when they loose their words but grandchildren handle it so much better.


  9. Beautiful story Pat. As has been said before, you sure know how to pick-em. I know our parents and grandparents are great on long term memory but it must be confusing when they start losing their short term memory, especially for the young ones. Lovely creative way of helping them to understand. Brilliant choice.


    • Thank you Diane. My father remained very sharp, but my mother had memory issues I believe were related to chemo. It’s hard on adults and families. But, it is wonderful to have beautiful resources to help children understand and find a way to maintain a relationship and not be afraid.


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