Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs – Book Review

What The Bibliotherapy Project loves about this book

(Scroll down for book description)

This book shows Tommy’s close relationships with BOTH his great-grandmother AND his grandmother. When his great-grandmother dies, his mother explains what death means, and Tommy processes his grief, taking comfort in the beauty of the night sky.

The explanations about death are simple, gentle, and effective, and are conveyed warmly through the book’s story.

Whom it’s for

Because this book shares its message thematically, with a few explicit explanations, it can be enjoyed by all children.

It may be especially helpful for any child who has lost a great-grandparent, or who loves their great-grandparent (especially great-grandmother) in a special way.

Be Aware

Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs explains death:

“What’s ‘died’?” Tommy asked.

“‘Died’ means that Nana Upstairs won’t be here anymore,” Mother answered.

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaula

“Won’t she ever come back?” he asked.

“No dear,” Mother said softly. “Except in your memory. She will come back in your memory whenever you think about her.”

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaula

What it’s about

From the Amazon listing 1/27/2020

Tommy is four years old, and he loves visiting the home of his grandmother, Nana Downstairs, and his great-grandmother, Nana Upstairs. But one day Tommy’s mother tells him Nana Upstairs won’t be there anymore, and Tommy must struggle with saying good-bye to someone he loves. Updated with new, full-color illustrations, this classic story will continue to win the hearts of readers of all ages.

“Children will want to hear this again and again.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“A quietly touching story that depicts loving family relationships.” —Publishers Weekly

Featured Quote

“What’s ‘died’?” Tommy asked.

“‘Died’ means that Nana Upstairs won’t be here anymore,” Mother answered.

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaula

What do YOU think? Any comments to help others help children with this book?

Share your thoughts and experience in the comments.

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