The Lines on Nana’s Face

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The Lines on Nana’s Face
Simona Ciraolo
Flying Eye Books
Utterly divine was my instant reaction when I saw the cover of this: and so it continued with glorious endpapers and an, oh so beautiful narration by a small girl, of a conversation that takes place between herself and her Nana on the latter’s birthday. All the relations have come to celebrate the day but our narrator is slightly bemused: in addition to looking happy, why does her Nana appear as though ‘she might also be a bit sad, and a little surprised and slightly worried, all at the same time.’ she wonders. Nana suggests it might be due to her wrinkles, “ … it is in these lines that I keep all my memories!
What follows is a glorious exploration of those lines with the little girl leading the way.

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There’s a springtime mystery-solving memory line, a best seaside picnic ever line (or two) – definitely laughter lines those …

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and these are the result of a truly hair-raising first date encounter with Grandpa …

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Memories of a glorious wedding dress made by Nana for her sister are also present – right below Nana’s eyes and there’s a sadness place too – that’s for Nana’s first goodbye …

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Then comes our adorable narrator’s final question: “Nana! Do you remember the first time you saw me?” and Nana’s beatific smile says it all …

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Stunning illustrations grace each and every page of this treasure of a book. I particularly love the alternate ‘real’ (lines) and imaginative (memory) spreads pattern Ciraolo uses as she celebrates both youth with all its promise of times to come, and gradual aging with its memories of times past: essentially, life and living. I for one will never look upon my facial lines in quite the same way again. What a truly tender tale to share with young children, no matter whether you are or aren’t a grandparent though of course, it would be a wonderful present from one grandchild to grandma or vice-versa. And (I keep on saying this), yet another out of this world production from Flying Eye Books: oh that paper – I can almost feel those lines,  oh that spine, oh, oh … hmmm!

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