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Children's Fiction Depression & Mental Illness

Really and Truly

by (author) Émilie Rivard

illustrated by Anne-Claire Delisle

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
May 2014
Depression & Mental Illness, Multigenerational, Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Recommended Age
4 to 18
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


With tenderness, sensitivity, and humor, Really and Truly explores the effect that dementia has on a young boy named Charlie and his family. Charlie is very close to his grandfather, who loves to tell fanciful stories about pirates, witches, and gnomes that amuse Charlie to no end. But lately, Charlie’s grandpa doesn’t have any new stories to tell — in fact, some days Grandpa doesn't even recognize Charlie. A disease has stolen grandpa’s memories, his appetite, and even his smile. Charlie wants so much to make his grandpa smile again that he comes up with a plan to tell him stories — the same ones that Grandpa used to tell Charlie to make him laugh! Without shying away from the inevitable heartache that comes from watching loved ones suffer, Really and Truly is a spirited book for young readers struggling to remain optimistic during troubling times.

About the authors

Émilie Rivard est née à Québec en 1982 avec une incroyable envie de créer. Depuis 2005, elle a publié plus de soixante-dix romans et albums pour les 17 mois à 17 ans ainsi que des textes pour le théâtre, pour des magazines et pour la télévision. Elle est notamment l’auteure de 1re Avenue, lauréat du Prix jeunesse des libraires 2018, volet Québec, 12-17 ans.

Elle vit dans la ville de Québec, au Québec.


Émilie Rivard's profile page

Anne-Claire Delisle has been drawing her whole life. After studying graphic design at university, she became an illustrator for books, magazines, and advertising. Today she also teaches illustration at Cégep de Sainte-Foy in Quebec City.


Anne-Claire Delisle's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens
  • Short-listed, Ontario Library Association, Blue Spruce Award

Editorial Reviews

"Beautiful, expressive cartoonish illustrations extend the text and capture the past, the present, and the imagination with warmth and humor. A valuable addition to library collections, hospitals, and assisted-living facilities."

School Library Journal

"Rivard's straightforward text and artist Anne-Claire Delisle's sensitive illustrations make this picture book a good way to begin the difficult conversation with a child about this difficult subject."

Books for Kids Blog

"... a meaningful book for very young children…a testament to the power of stories, love and the bond between child and grandparent."

Canadian Children's Book News

"Really and Truly is one of those books that parents hope they will never need, but it's a must-have for any family dealing with a loved one suffering from dementia...will leave adult readers teary, but will be especially poignant, relevant, and helpful for parents struggling to put dementia into terms that younger children can understand."

Quill & Quire

"This book is sad, yet uplifting; it is realistic and hopeful; it is like real life. This will be a useful addition to school and public libraries or family libraries where they may be experiencing these situations."

Resource Links

"...a timely, touching and oh-so-necessary book about the signs, symptoms and emotional effects of Alzheimer’s disease."

Picture Book Depot

"Heart-warming, heart-breaking and so, so relevant to children who are dealing with the difficulty of losing a beloved relative to this terrible disease."

YA & Kids Books Central

Other titles by Émilie Rivard

Other titles by Anne-Claire Delisle