Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings

Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings Newspaper Hats by Phil Cummings
Illustrator: Owen Swan
Published by Charlesbridge on October 11, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Format: eARC
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four-half-stars

Georgie visits her Grandpa at the home where he lives, but he doesn’t always remember who she is. He does, however, remember how to make newspaper hats, and together they fold enough for all his friends. Touching moments portray the difficulties and nuances of memory loss from a child’s perspective, and an uplifting ending leaves readers with hope. A poignant and age-appropriate story about a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.

Newspaper Hats is a touching story. Georgie’s grandfather is losing his memory and sometimes doesn’t even remember her. She and her father go to visit him in the nursing home and Georgie asks her grandpa if he remembers her. Grandpa looks at the photos in his room and tells her some of the things he does remember. Finally she picks up a photo of Grandpa, Georgie and her dad where Georgie is wearing a paper hat. Grandpa does remember how to make paper hats and it provides a connecting point for the family.

It’s a gentle story that I think would be nice to read with kids who are dealing with a similar situation as Georgie, where someone in their family can’t remember as well as they used to, whether it be to due to Alzheimer’s or something else. It can be tough for adults to see someone losing their memory, but it’s difficult for kids to and they have less understanding about what is going on. This story show that even if someone can’t remember you exactly, you can still cherish the time you have with them.

About Phil Cummings

Phil Cummings was born in the small seaside town of Port Broughton in South Australia. He is the youngest of eight children with four brothers and three sisters. Life as a kid for Phil was a fabulous adventure. He was on a farm for the first eight or nine years of his life. When his family left the farm they moved to the mid north of South Australia to a railway town called Peterborough. When Phil left school he worked in a local garage, in the abattoirs and played sport constantly until he left to attend teachers’ college.

Phil’s interest in writing began with poetry and writing songs. With the beginning of teacher training, Phil was exposed to a great deal of children’s literature, particularly picture books. Phil decided to sit down and write one! He mistakenly believed it would not be difficult at all! His work was rejected time and time again but, having the writing bug, he kept on going. He soon learnt that writing for children was a lot harder than he ever imagined. Six or seven years after his first attempts, Phil had a book published. Goodness Gracious!- illustrated by Craig Smith – was published by Omnibus Books in 1989.

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