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Escape, let go, and cherish what you still can

My Grandpa is a Tree

Ingrid Godon & Kim Crabeels

A little boy really looks up to his grandpa, who is big and strong, like a ‘hundred-year-old oak’. Grandpa knows everything about birds, and shares his knowledge with the boy. Like an old oak, grandpa sometimes gets tired, just for a little moment. Eventually, those ‘little moments’ take longer and longer. Grandpa becomes quieter, retreats into himself, declining further and further. According to the boy, a bird is building a nest in grandpa’s head, which allows him to keep communicating a little with his grandson.

Godon’s simple, dreamlike drawings are a perfect match for the story and the subject matter.
Leven in Leuven

‘My Grandpa is a Tree’ is a playful, poetic story about a grandson and his grandfather, who is slipping into dementia. It’s touching to see the boy do his best to get his old grandpa, a real tree of a man, back. He gives his grandpa water to keep him alive, and though it doesn’t help, he still thinks he’s a really lucky boy to have a grandpa like his.

Ingrid Godon portrays emotion like no other. Her large, colourful and raw illustrations, with the occasional smudge, imagine a world as seen through the eyes of the boy. First, we see the strong, dignified grandpa, but later we only see him in parts as he sits and stares. In this way, ‘My Grandpa is a Tree’ makes a sensitive subject approachable.

Godon is a master of using minimal media to represent emotional states.
Zilveren Palet jury