The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins

( 3 )

Overview

This poignant tale of a woman residing in a nursing home who seems to live more in a world of memories than in the present gives voice to an often not-discussed element of aging. Constance Bergum's delicate watercolor illustrations give soft expression to the continuity of generations and the love that holds a family together during times of hardship. 32 pp. Ages 6-10. Pub: 3/98.

Even though Miss Olivia seems unaware of the world around her, when her daughter and her...

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Overview

This poignant tale of a woman residing in a nursing home who seems to live more in a world of memories than in the present gives voice to an often not-discussed element of aging. Constance Bergum's delicate watercolor illustrations give soft expression to the continuity of generations and the love that holds a family together during times of hardship. 32 pp. Ages 6-10. Pub: 3/98.

Even though Miss Olivia seems unaware of the world around her, when her daughter and her great-grandson come to the nursing home to visit, they awaken happy memories of her past.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Wendy Pollock-Gilson
Miss Olivia may be remembering happy times when her daughter Angel, and great-grandson, Troy, come to visit her at the nursing home. They bring lilacs from her home, which may trigger memories of Sunday afternoons spent with the young man she would marry. When Troy sees visitors with a small baby, Miss Olivia remembers Angel's birth. Full-page watercolor paintings are sympathetic to the plight of this older woman. Golden light shines like twilight throughout this story of several generations connected together and it all happens without Miss Olivia ever speaking.
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561451395
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 318,570
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.92 (w) x 10.93 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2005

    A beautiful and touching story

    This story is so eloquent it reads almost like poetry. It is a gentle way to introduce a child to understanding Alzheimers or dimentia. The story is touching and the art is so soft and inviting, it is just beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2001

    Wonderful Book

    This story is touching! A wonderful way to help children understand that their loved ones get old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2001

    I love this book just like Trevor

    It reminds me of my Mammaw Clarine that died. I miss her a lot. This book is really sweet.

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