Book Review—I Love You to the Stars

Children notice when dementia changes their relationship with a loved one. This simple story, based on real life, offers young children explanation and reassurance.

A young boy’s grandmother (and Grandma’s dog, Sunny) moves in with his family, and they become fast friends. With Grandma the boy works puzzles, practices reading, and plays outdoors, and he watches as Grandma dances when she thinks no one is looking. At night Grandma tucks him in with a rhyme she made up just for him:

I love you to Mars
I love you to the stars
I love you always,
wherever you are.

Life changes when Grandma becomes forgetful, and the boy listens sadly to his mother explain the diagnosis: dementia. But he adapts and understands that “Grandma has always helped us. Now it’s our turn to help her.”

Still, a time comes when Grandma must move where she can receive more care. At the end of visits, the boy hugs his grandmother and whispers in her ear their familiar bedtime rhyme.

Expressive illustrations and the narrator’s childlike observations will draw children into this story. Realistic yet reassuring, I Love You to the Stars shows children that even as people change, love does not. A good addition to any church library or gift to any child with a loved one experiencing cognitive decline.

I Love You to the Stars: When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers
written by Crystal Bowman and Douglas Groothuis
illustrated by Robert Sauber
published by Kregel Children’s Books (2020)
hardcover picture book, 32 pages, 9 x 0.38 x 10 inches

Making Him known to the next generation,

– Diane

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