Home            Grandmas lost her head
Author finds stories when grandma 'loses her head'
By KYRA GOTTESMAN - The Buzz
Posted: 01/13/2011 12:00:00 AM PST
CHICO — "Grandma's Lost Her Head," a new children's book by local author and publisher Naty Osa will be presented to the public during a special reading hosted by Avenue 9 Gallery on Saturday, 2-4 p.m.
 
"This book will interest both young people as well as the many adults who are acting as caregivers to elderly parents. It is an important book, we believe," said Dolores Mitchell, co-owner of the gallery.

Illustrated with colorful images, created by Osa's son Javier Dura, the story is told from the loving and na ve perspective of a little boy whose grandmother is losing her memory, but the subject matter comes from Osa's personal experience.

Ten years ago the author's mother suffered a severe stroke which left her paralyzed and severely brain damaged. Despite the challenges of caring for someone in this condition Osa, her father and siblings decided to keep her mother at home and provide her care themselves.
 
"I found early on that she had kept her sense of humor and had developed an incredibly rich fantasy life," said Osa. "A 'normal' conversation with Mother is virtually impossible, but, if you are willing to go with the flow, she can take you to places you could never go on your own."

The idea for "Grandma's Lost Her Head" came to Osa one Sunday afternoon after dinner when her mother pointed at the floor and said, "Naty, there goes a big green mouse!"
 
"I looked and said, 'Where?'" recalls the author. "She replied, 'Oh you missed it. But don't worry because there's a lion and a zebra right behind him and you will be able to see those.' Well, I was just charmed. What a great thing to say, I thought. Here she is sitting in a wheelchair and having to be spoon-fed and she comes up with such a wonderful fantasy. I ran back to the desk in my room and wrote it down. The next day I sat down and wrote the story 'Grandma's Lost Her Head.'"

The book, which captures the sadness of the situation, finds the joy and humor in the punches life throws. As the adults around him use colloquial expressions — "Grandma's lost her head" and "She's got a screw loose"  to explain to the boy what is happening with his beloved grandmother, he becomes, at first confused, wondering how will grandma wear her hat with no head? And "why does grandma need screws?" As comprehension dawns the young boy volunteers to help the family take care of grandma.
 
The cover illustration is based on an old photograph of the author's mother sitting on a sofa holding a chicken but the rest of the delightful illustrations come from Dura's imagination.

"I sent the story to Javier, who lives in Seville, Spain, and he created the evocative illustrations. I generally do not tell Javier what it is I want him to draw. I am reluctant to put fetters on his imagination and he has never disappointed me. This way the book is the product of both our imaginations. I could never have done it without him," said Osa.
 
The book, which has been published in both English and Spanish by Osa's publishing company, Stinky Press Publishing, is dedicated to the author's mother and is available through the publisher's website, www.stinkypress.com, Lyon Books, Made in Chico and Avenue 9 Gallery.
 
 
 

 

 
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