The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi. Drawings by Gregory O’Brien
I read this novel in one sitting. I think you have to in order to hold in your head what it is all about.
Perry is an imaginative 9 year old girl who needs constant stimulation. She has thick lensed glasses, an inquisitive and sharp mind and a caring nature. You can say aah here. Her mother and father fill her life up with after school activities like music and art work but she needs more. Then she finds out about her grandmother, Honora Lee.
Honora is in a rest home, has dementia and a head full of memories that burst out at any time. Perry adores visiting her and decides to do an ABC book about life in the rest home. I had a mother with dementia and this brought it all home to me. You will laugh and cry at the same time.
As the ACB book evolves Gregory O’Brien illustrates with perceptive drawings that reflect Perry’s understanding with Honora’s dementia. Absolutely superb.
I loved the way Kate showed the family connections through the dialogue, I hope the children don’t miss this.
As I read I reached the conclusion that it was a children’s book for adults as well as an adult’s book for children.
The link between the old and the young is wonderfully portrayed with the usual eccentricity that characterise Kate De Goldi’s books.