Skip to Content

  • Wait Times
  • Site Search

Children's Storybook Grandpa's Crooked Smile Teaches Warning Signs of Stroke

Grandpa’s Crooked Smile: A Story of Stroke Survival is a heart-warming story that helps young children and their families learn what to do if someone they love has a stroke.

The main character of this fictional book is a little boy whose grandpa has a stroke. As he shares his experience, children learn what a stroke is; how it may affect a person’s movement, speech and other abilities; and how relationships may change but can also be strengthened when someone in the family has a stroke. The boy’s relationship with his grandfather comes full circle as he realizes that despite some changes in Grandpa’s abilities, he is still the boy’s beloved best friend.

Along the way, kids also learn three simple tests – Smile, Reach, Speech – that can help them detect when someone is having a stroke.  At the end of the book, activities and games encourage families to practice these tests together, so they can be ready to act if they notice someone exhibiting any of the warning signs of stroke.

The book was developed by MidMichigan Health as part of a community-wide stroke education campaign called, “Smile, Reach, Speech.” Written by Barbara Reeves and illustrated by nationally-syndicated cartoonist Peter Sinclair, both of Midland, the book was funded by a grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation. The online version is narrated by local radio personality Jerry O'Donnell.

Read the Book Online

Copyright Permissions

 © 2007-2011, MidMichigan Health. Some Rights Reserved. Non-commercial users are welcome to use or distribute the online or print version of this book for educational purposes only. The book must be distributed in its entirety and attributed to MidMichigan Health. No derivative works are allowed.

The print edition of the book is available to Michigan schools and libraries free of charge. Non-profit organizations that are interested in printing copies of the book for distribution in other communities may contact MidMichigan Health's Marketing Dept. at (800) 999-3199 for more information.

Library Catalog Information

Title: Grandpa’s Crooked Smile:  A Story of Stroke Survival
Author: Barbara Reeves
Illustrator: Peter Sinclair
Developed by MidMichigan Health
Funded by a grant from the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation.
Publisher: Aardvark Global Publishing, © 2007, MidMichigan Health.
Recommended Ages: 4 to 6
Educational Themes: Stroke symptoms and warning signs, after affects of a stroke, responding to an emergency, dialing 911, family and relationships
Literary Categories: Children’s fiction; health--stroke
Summary:
 "My Grandpa is my best friend. After Grandpa had a stroke, mom taught me the Smile-Reach-Speech Test. It's an easy way to know if someone may be having a stroke and that you should call 911 right away. I'm glad that's what we did because now Grandpa and I are back to doing fun stuff together."

Anyone can have a stroke. Grandpa's Crooked Smile includes games and activities to help your whole family learn the Smile-Reach-Speech Test, which can save lives and prevent disability. Knowing what to do in an emergency is just as important as learning to whistle or catch a ball.  It's easy to learn. Just ask Grandpa.