It’s not every day that I come across a children’s book so well written and so touching that it makes me cry. Perhaps because I’m deeply empathetic to the elderly struggling with symptoms of dementia and memory loss. If My Moon Was Your Sun is one of the most touching stories about a grandchild’s relationship with his elderly, memory-stricken grandfather.
The story starts with Max, the grandson, who decides that, instead of going to school, the day is a perfect day to visit his grandfather at his nursing home. As Max arrives at the nursing home, we learn that he has a strong bond with his grandfather, that his grandfather has been diagnosed with an illness that has symptoms of dementia and memory loss (perhaps Alzheimer’s disease), and that Max knows the passcode to open the front doors of the nursing home. You can guess what he does next — Max kidnaps his grandfather, along with a willing
accomplice, and the group head over to Max’s grandfather’s favorite place, the place where Max has many fond memories with his grandfather: the meadow.
The group spend a peaceful afternoon enjoying the fresh air, the warmth of the sun, and the feel of grass on their backs. As Max and his grandfather conversed (multiple times Max’s grandfather forgets who Max is and Max must remind him with a hug), their willing accomplice, a former dance teacher, begins a dance of the sun and the moon. Their day eventually comes to an end when the police, the nursing home staff, and Max’s mother find all three escapees — but not before Max ask’s his grandfather a most pressing question:
If My moon Was Your Sun is a story filled with nostalgia and great love. It’s filled with humor and adult-like scenarios that makes this book befitting for parents to read to their children, especially if there is a loved one who has memory loss.
On an other note, this book comes with an accompanying audio book and CD with music. It was written for the SWR Symphonieorchester in cooperation with the orenspitzer for children’s concerts in 2013.
Extra: Book Trailer
About Andreas Steinhöfel
Andreas Steinhöfel is an award-winning German writer of children’s books. He received the Erich Kästner Prize for Literature in 2009 and the German Children’s Literature Award in 2013. In addition to writing books for young readers, he also works as a translator, writes for television and radio, and edits graphic novels. Born in 1962 in Battenberg, Germany, he now lives in Berlin. » Publisher’s Website