The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins
The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins
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Annotation: This poignant tale tells of a woman residing in a nursing home who seems to live in a world of memories. Although Miss O... more
Catalog Number: #6524451
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Bergum, Constance Rummel,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-682-63063-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-682-63063-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 97040949
Dimensions: 23 x 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When her daughter, Angel, and her great-grandson Troy come to visit her in a nursing home, Miss Olivia Wiggins doesn't appear to notice their presence: She just sits there, staring straight ahead, at nothing and at everything. But small things they say and do bring back memories for her. As Troy hums a little tune by her chair, she remembers holding her babies and singing to them, and the smell of the lilacs he has brought her reminds her of a special, long-ago spring day with the man she would marry. Although Troy finds it somewhat puzzling that his great-grandmother doesn't seem the same, he can tell that his visits bring her joy. Realistic watercolors flow gently between present and past in this tender depiction of a life well lived, which speaks to the value of maintaining loving relationships, even when they are altered by Alzheimer's disease. (Reviewed May 1, 1998)
Horn Book
A visit from her daughter Angel and great-grandson Troy sparks Miss Olivia Wiggins, living in a nursing home and seemingly unaware of her surroundings, to remember important moments in her life. Slipping between the past and the present, the story, with its adult sensibility, has little to engage the interest of young readers. Watercolors in soft tones ably convey the affection linking three generations of family members.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--When her daughter and great-grandson visit Miss Olivia Wiggins in a nursing home, their words and actions cause the woman to remember significant moments in her life. A repeated phrase, "She didn't move, she didn't even blink, but slowly, quietly she began to think..." signals the change from the present to the past. These remembrances, which occur on every other page, are printed in italics. Through this story, readers will be reassured that older people can have a full inner life and will understand the importance of visiting them. With the growing number of elderly requiring full-time care, this book could fulfill a need. However, its appeal to youngsters is doubtful. Unlike Mem Fox's Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge (Kane/Miller, 1985), which addresses a similar subject, the story here is told from an adult perspective. The sun-dappled watercolor illustrations work with the text to present a sanitized, loving tribute to one woman's life. They do try to create a child-oriented connection between the past and the present by including a toy horse in many of the scenes and yet it's not enough. The overall focus of this title remains on the adult with little to engage youngsters.--Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist
Horn Book
School Library Journal
Word Count: 1,142
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 51041 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q75140
Lexile: AD590L
Guided Reading Level: Q
Fountas & Pinnell: Q

This poignant tale tells of a woman residing in a nursing home who seems to live in a world of memories.
Although Miss Olivia is unable to respond and doesnt always seem to notice her family, her daughter Angel and grandson Troy know better. Anything from a beautiful sunset to the mention of her porch swing can take her back into her past, from when she was just a little girl out on the farm with her papa or back to a recent birthday shared with her daughter. She can no longer do the things she used to do, but shes still their Momma Olivia.
Laminack treats a difficult topic with great care, giving voice to the seldom discussed tragedy of watching a loved one slip into the past in terms children can understand. Bergums delicate watercolors also give soft expression to the love that holds a family together during times of hardship.

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