Many of us know about Maria Shriver as first lady of California, respected former television journalist and member of the very political Kennedy family. She also is a sensitive author of books for children. Some of us push aside books by celebrities as likely to be of poor quality, published only because the author is famous. Other adults have no interest in reading books for children. I suggest that people take a look at these. They are good.
What’s Heaven? (1999) And What’s Happening to Grandpa? (2004). Here are two books by Maria Shriver for children that are totally about family love. They were born from Shriver’s family experiences of death and Alzheimer’s disease. Most of us know the stories of her family’s deaths and illnesses. Here we see these universal experiences explained simply and lovingly, with softly focused pastel illustrations by Sandra Speidel.
Shriver said in an interview recently that she was concerned that as a child she had questions, and children today have questions, so she wrote books that address them at the level of young children. As a Catholic, she stays non-denominational and focuses on uncomplicated concepts of heaven in one book, and dementia in the other.
It’s ok for adults to read kids’ books, for themselves, or to their children or grandchildren. These get to the point, are strong statements of love in families, and they are short. They are in print, available in online bookstores and area libraries.