The Old Woman is a beautiful portrait of an old woman who lives contentedly with her dog, from award-winning author Joanne Schwartz and illustrator Nahid Kazemi.
An old woman shares her home with a scruffy old dog, her best friend and constant companion.
One fall day, they go for a walk and the woman throws sticks for the dog. She loves hearing the autumn leaves under her feet and the wind in the trees. She looks up at a crow in the sky and imagines what it might feel like to fly. As the wind comes up and the light begins to fade, she remembers playing outside as a child, never wanting to go in. Suddenly she notices a stunning harvest moon against the darkening sky. The next morning, as she sits outside to watch the sun rise, she looks forward to spending a new day with her friend.
Gentle illustrations accompany this portrayal of an elderly person who lives peaceably with her dog, appreciating what each moment brings.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
>Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Joanne Schwartz was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She is the author of Town Is by the Sea, illustrated by Sydney Smith, winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, among many other honors. Her first picture book, Our Corner Grocery Store, illustrated by Laura Beingessner, was nominated for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. She has written several other highly acclaimed picture books, including Pinny in Summer and Pinny in Fall, both illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant. Joanne has been a children’s librarian for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Toronto.
Nahid Kazemi is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer with a master’s degree in painting from Tehran’s University of Art. She has published more than sixty children’s books and has received awards for her illustrations in Iran as well as nominations for the Governor General’s Award and the 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Her recent publications include I’m Glad That You’re Happy, which she wrote and illustrated, and Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon by JonArno Lawson. She has also taught art and has exhibited her work in Iran, France, Italy, the UK, Lebanon and Serbia. Nahid lives in Montreal.
Praise for author Joanne Schwartz and illustrator Nahid Kazemi for The Old Woman:
“This beautifully contemplative portrait is notable for its depiction of a capable elder, dwelling not amid illness, regret, or grief, but in the moment, relishing each day’s unique beauty. Calming, serene, respectful.” — Kirkus Reviews
“[A] a thoughtful, measured text marries perfectly with the pictures … a quiet story to share one-on-one.” — CM Review of Materials
“Between Joanne Schwartz's words evoking such emotional tranquility and Nahid Kazemi's ethereal illustrations of filmy chalk pastels and coloured pencils that give The Old Woman such solemnity, I cried each time I read The Old Woman.” —CanLit for LittleCanadians
“The quiet and poetic text is beautifully matched by the chalk pastel and pencil illustrations that Kazemi uses to bring this world to life.” —Globe and Mail
“These are spreads to get lost in, just as the woman gets lost in her decision to give herself over to the outdoors for a day. This is a story thatbreathes.” — Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog
“What a joy it is to read.” — Sal’s Fiction Addiction Blog
Praise for author Joanne Schwartz and illustrator Sydney Smith for Town Is by the Sea:
“A quiet book that will stay with readers long after they have closed it.” — Kirkus, starred review
“Art and text meld for a powerful glimpse at a way of life that begs inspection. A thoughtful and haunting book that will stay with readers.” — School Library Journal, starred review
“This is a moving story, and a fine example of text and pictures in perfect harmony.” — Horn Book, starred review
“Hauntingly beautiful.” — Booklist, starred review
“[Schwartz] perfectly captures the matter-of-fact thinking of a small child.” — Quill & Quire, starred review
Praise for Nahid Kazemi and I’m Glad That You’re Happy:
“[Nahid Kazemi] tells her tale of child-rearing with a positive and fairly glowing feeling of all-around goodness.” — Kirkus Reviews
“The sweet narrative about the enduring love between parents and children, along with the detail-rich artwork, makes this perfect for sharing one-on-one.” — Booklist
“Kazemi warmly depicts a close family, and the art is filled with cozy details of their life together.” — School Library Journal