Abeele, Véronique van den

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Abeele, Véronique van den


Born in Belgium.




Teacher, translator, and author.


Ma grand-mère Alzha … quoi?, illustrated by Claude K. Dubois, Petits Mijade (France), 2007, translated as Still My Grandma, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Grand Rapids, MI), 2007.


Véronique van den Abeele lives in Belgium, where she works as a teacher and translator. Her first picture book, Still My Grandma, was inspired by Abeele's experiences while watching her own grandmother slowly succumb to Alzheimer's disease. Featuring warm-toned illustrations by Claude K. Dubois, Still My Grandma was first published in Belgium as Ma grand-mère Alzha … quoi?, and the book has been praised by critics and readers of several languages for its warm-hearted approach to a situation encountered by children of all ages.

In Abeele's story, a girl named Camille has a close relationship with her loving grandmother, and the two bake cupcakes, feed a family of ducks, go shopping, and even have slumber parties together. However, Grandma begins to become confused easily, and when she forgets Camille's name, the girl knows that something has changed. Soon Grandma must leave the comfortable home where the two have shared so much, but when the woman moves to a nursing home, Camille realizes that their loving relationship can be sustained wherever Grandma is. In Booklist Jennifer Mattson praised Abeele's story, citing its "simple, first-person text" and "sensitive" depiction of accepting change. Noting Dubois' "dreamy" pastel illustrations for the book, a Kirkus Reviews writer described Still My Grandma as a "gentle, effective, albeit slightly simplified tale" that will help young children understand and accept the changes that occur among the elderly.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, October 15, 2007, Jennifer Mattson, review of Still My Grandma, p. 53.

Kirkus Reviews, August, 2007, review of Still My Grandma.

School Library Journal, April, 2008, "When Grandparents Become Ill," p. 28.