Singing with Momma Lou
Tamika visits Momma Lou every Sunday afternoon at the nursing home. Momma Lou usually does not recognize her nine-year-old granddaughter because she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Frustrated by Momma Lou’s inability to remember their special times together, Tamika feels as if she’s lost her best friend. But after discovering Momma Lou’s old scrapbook with pictures of her singing with choirs and marching in civil rights demonstrations, Tamika decides to ‘give Momma Lou her memories back.’ The next visits to the home are filled with pictures, newspaper clippings and stories that Tamika hopes will trigger Momma Lou’s memory. This delicate story, with a bittersweet conclusion, gives children a realistic but softened look at a devastating illness. Johnson’s illustrations, in broad-brush strokes and deep colors, depict the setting in a dignified manner and successfully reflect the deep attachment between grandparent and grandchild. A helpful endnote provides a bit of additional information on the disease.