8 November 2015

The ACB of Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

With illustrations by Gregory O'Brien
Series: N/A, Standalone 
Publication date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Genres: Middle grade, Picture books 
Format: Physical review copy
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Pages: 128

Rating: ★★★★/5

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A touching, playful story about family, forgetfulness and friendship.

Every Saturday Perry visits her grandmother, Honora Lee, at the Santa Lucia retirement home. Honora is sharp, outspoken and full of surprises. Perry adores her, but Gran's memory is failing.

As Perry compiles an ABC of life at Santa Lucia for a school project, it seems to her that Gran is loosing words just as quickly as she is collecting them. Together the pair provide a unique lens on life, language and growing old. 

I requested The ACB of Honora Lee on a whim because I usually don't read middle grade or children's book but something made me need it - probably the cover to be honest. The synopsis sold the book to me though, I love when family is a big aspect in literature for the younger audience. Somehow the ACB or ABC of the life of Perry's grandmother is a beautiful idea and the execution is marvelous!

First I think we should tackle the gorgeousness that is this book! First of all - the cover! It's full of bees yet somehow really cute and the colours make it POP. When you open the book.. Well, you should probably see for yourself;

I think we've gushed enough for now! Let's look at the actual story! 
I read The ACB of Honora Lee one morning on the train and it was so cute! I read it in a single sitting and I've thought about rereading it a couple of times already. I loved getting to know Perry, Honora and all the other residents at Santa Lucia. I loved looking at the illustrations and I loved how happy this book made me! 

It's such a cute and short story but somehow you get so attached to all the characters! I was a bit sad near the end but we knew it was coming! 

One thing that definitely made me laugh was when they recited the alphabet; it's not a,b,c,d etc. It's Eh Bee See Dee Ee Eff Gee Aitch etc. I laughed so hard and it actually took me a while to understand what they were trying to do (I laughed once I realized it was the ABC they were reciting)

I also loved how Honora, Perry's grandmother, didn't want to do the alphabet book in the correct order. She was all over the place and near the end Perry's father asks Perry whether she even remembers how to say the alphabet in the correct order and Perry's answer is; Probably,... but who wants to?. I've thought about this particular moment a lot since then. It's quite profound actually, we're so focused on doing things in the correct order but who actually wants to? I've tried to do more things like I want to ever since! 

I don't often read children's literature or middle grade books but I couldn't say no to this one. It's gorgeous and the story is wonderful as well. 

Fun fact; I only just realized that it's called the ACB and not the ABC.. Yes, it's quite bad. 

Quite a short review, but in my defense, the book is quite short as well! 

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