Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge
By Mem Fox
Review by: Lori Plach
A mind is a terrible thing to lose. The young boy featured in this story is unhappy to find out that the woman he tells all his secrets to is losing her memory.
Wilfred doesn’t really know what a memory is so being the questioning little boy, he asks other residents of the old people’s home where Miss Nancy Allison Delacourt Cooper lives. He is told by Mrs. Jordan that memory is something warm. Mr. Hoskins tells him that memory is something from long ago. Miss Tippett has a different interpretation as it is something that makes you cry. Miss Mitchell believes that a memory is something that makes you laugh. Memories can also be something precious as gold says Mr. Drysdale.
Wilfred is a sympathetic soul so he goes home and searches for memories because Miss Nancy has lost hers. He finds his puppet on a string, shells which he found long ago, his medal which is grandfather had given him, his football which he feels is as precious as gold and a warm egg. As he gives all his treasures to Miss Nancy, her memory is triggered. She tells his about how hot she was in her button up boots at the beach picking up seashells. The medal reminds her of her brothers who never returned from war. When Miss Nancy holds the warm egg, she tells him of tiny blue speckled eggs that she found in her garden years ago. She tells Wilfred that the football holds her fondest memory. He was holding it the day that she had first met him.
This story is beautiful in showing the friendship between a small boy and an older person. It brings across the fact that older people would relish the visit from young people. Young and older people can learn a lot from each other.