Edwin thought he would be young forever. And he almost was.
Then he got old. Old enough to die.
Edwin is a meditation on living in the moment, and a book for the young to read to the old.
Roslyn Schwartz is best known as the creator of the beloved Mole Sisters series of books for very young children. Now, in a picture book for adults, Schwartz brings her gentle wit and sensitivity to another audience. In spare prose, Edwin addresses the reality of mental decline and the losses we experience, cycling several times through an incantation of woes -- although all his sorrows notwithstanding, the irrepressible cork-and-wire creature finds his own special redemption in Schwartz’s mindful meditation.
Schwartz created Edwin out of her frustration as a caregiver in locating books that respected the dignity of persons with dementia or Alzheimers. She soon discovered that friends of all ages found the work moving and entertaining, despite the inherent sadness of Edwin’s story. We can confirm its broad appeal and its unexpected power: some people have been moved to tears by this little book. Others, to be fair, are mildly irritated by its repetitions (which are an essential aspect of the story) - through repetition the book reminds us to be patient, encourages us to experience the vanishing present and the need to constantly refresh the scene.
Bleak yet light-hearted, a book for the young to read to the old, an invocation of mindfulness, a memento mori, and a primer on empathy: Edwin is all these things.