The Old Woman

Written by Joanne Schwartz
Illustrated by Nahid Kazemi
Groundwood Books

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.


“Misty illustrations accompany a gentle text in a picture book that is overlaid with the feeling of an allegory.
Highly Recommended.”
Cm: Canadian Review of Materials

“This beautifully contemplative portrait is notable for it’s 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.”

“Schwartz’s language is descriptive and lyrical (where the air touches her face “feels like the softest hand in the world”), and Kazemi’s textured and atmospheric mixed-media illustrations, which include chalk pastels and color pencils, let nature take center stage.”
Seven impossible Things Before Breakfast

The Globe 100: Our Favourite Books of 2020

Quill & Quire’s 2020 Books of the Year: Books for Young People