I received a hard-cover ARC copy of this book, along with its accompanying cd consisting of the book’s text with its incidental music between chapters, from the publisher; and the following is my honest opinion, which I’ve broken down into several segments.
This is the first book I’ve read which has been translated from its original German text. The reason I’m mentioning this is that German had been my secondary major to my primary one of Sociology. Given the intended age group for this book of 8 – 12, I figured the original German should be easy enough for me to translate, which is what I did. When I listened to the audio for the text for the book’s first paragraph, I found much to my delight that the translator, Matthew O. Anderson, didn’t merely translate the book into English, he endeavored to capture the nuances of language which the author wanted to communicate to his readers.
I know I could have easily read this book, however I wanted to experience the impact having the book read to me for a change would feel like. Needless to say, I found the experience to be quite satisfying, especially when you include the carefully selected classical music segments heard between each segment [chapter] which added a delightful embellishment to the entire reading experience.
Ms. Palmtag, the book’s illustrator, has done a marvelous in pairing her illustrations to the words of the book which further heighten the story itself.
As for the storyline itself, you’ve got the love the coupling of the innocence along with the love for his grandfather Max exhibited when he decided to kidnap him out of the nursing home so he could keep his grandfather close and not lose him. Not knowing anything about dementia Max thought he’s doing something good, but when he saw people from the home and his mother chasing everyone; including Ms. Schneider, another resident of the nursing home who came along for the ride, Max knew he had to stop and give up.
If you’ve got any doubt that this endeavor had to be a labor of love for the author, instead of being just another children’s book, read the interview with the author and illustrator at the end of the book. Considering all this, you can see why I’ve given this book the 5 STARS it so richly deserves.