Paradise artist Alison Paolini, a member of the Parkinson's Association of Northern California, has teamed with Denver-based writer Kirk Hall to tell about his life as a PWP ("person with Parkinson's") from a child's perspective. The "grampa" of his earlier book, "Carson And His Shaky Paws Grampa" (also illustrated by Paolini), Hall's new story focuses on his wife, Linda, the caregiver, and is more explicitly about Parkinson's Disease.
"Carina And Her Care Partner Gramma" ($15.95 in paperback from Innovo Publishing, in Amazon Kindle format and available from Hall's website at shakypawsgrampa.blogspot.com) situates Parkinson's within a family context. As Hall says in a "note to readers," the book "emphasizes the importance of care partners. Care partners are most often women (since the majority of PWPs are men), but there are also women, family members, or friends in this difficult and demanding role."
"My name is Carina," the story begins, "and I am six and one-half years old." She and her younger brother have moved to China with their parents, who are teachers. She fondly remembers her grandparents, especially Gramma. "The summer before we moved to China, the whole family went to a park to walk with Gramma and Grampa and a bunch of other people. Some walked very slowly, some were in special chairs with wheels, and some were shaky like Grampa used to be. We walked a really long way to help raise money for something called Parkinson's. Gramma told us that is what caused Grampa's 'shaky paws' and make him tired."
Carina says her grandparents speak to others about Parkinson's, and her Gramma tells how she helps Grampa. "Like telling him to take a nap when he gets grouchy or taking a long walk with him. They told them about his special procedure and how much better he feels."
That procedure, Hall explains in a note, is called "deep-brain stimulation therapy," "a pacemaker for the brain," which he had in 2011. The book also includes a resource page for care partners and those with Parkinson's. Paolini's large, colorful illustrations are friendly and inviting.
"I would like to be a doctor," Corina tells her teacher, "so I can take care of people like how Gramma takes care of Grampa. ... I know she will do a good job because she loves him so much!"