Posts tagged ‘Alzheimer’s disease’

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY – TRANSFORMATIONS

Weeds in Nana’s Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias.

Written and Illustrated by Kathryn Harrison

This well-written book is poignant and beautiful. The author tackles a difficult subject with which many families are forced to face. By using the metaphor of a garden overcome with weeds, the author introduces the subject of Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia.

The protagonist is a young girl who enjoys planting seeds in her Nana’s garden every spring. She laughs and dances as her grandmother explains the fairies are sprinkling their magic dust in the garden. They work the garden as the flowers spring to life. They observe the changes in the garden as the seasons change.

Then one summer, the little girl notices weeds growing in the garden. She inquires of her Nana whether they should pull them out, but her grandmother just nods. Confused, the little girl asks her mother why Nana does not remove the weeds and her mother tenderly explains that Nana’s brain is sick and that like the garden it is becoming tangled and confused. She reminds her daughter that like the flowers growing among the weeds, the Nana they remember is still underneath.

As time goes on, the weeds multiply and Nana’s condition worsens. The little girl has grown and she learns to deal with reality. She sings and dances in the garden once more, now taking over the responsibility for the garden while her grandmother rests sitting underneath a tree.

The author reminds us that our mothers and grandmothers are treasures, but like the cycle of the seasons, they will not be with us forever. There is a wonderful list of questions and answers that can be used to explain dementia to children. Harrison donates 20% of her sales to the Alzheimer Foundation in Canada. Recommended for parents, grandparents, teachers and children ages six and older.

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DID I REALLY IMAGINE THAT? – BOOK BLITZ

Sweet T and the North Wind (Sweet T Tales)

Written by Cat Michaels

Illustrated by Irene A. Jahns

SweetT,pic

Sweet T is the nickname given to ten year old Tara by her grandmother. Tara has recently celebrated her birthday and has been gifted with a new scooter by her parents. But the North Wind is howling over Kelly Lake; her parents tell Tara that she will have to wait till spring to ride it.

Tara and her two younger sisters are part of a close-knit family. Her grandmother suffers from dementia; and her grandfather has recently moved into the nursing home with her. Tara is experiencing “cabin fever” so she goes down to the basement to look at her scooter. All of a sudden the scooter begins talking with her. The scooter informs her that she has one hour to use her imagination to go outside on a spring day and enjoy her scooter. At first this seems impossible, but soon Tara is whizzing down hills with her sisters on the scooter. Then she goes back in time to imagine a better time with her grandparents in their house on Harriet Lane. A surprise ending makes the reader ask, “What if….?”

This story combines fantasy, whimsy and imagination to tough real life situations like a family dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. The author faces the challenges without belaboring the point. Short chapters and charming watercolors make the book a perfect beginning chapter reader for children in elementary grades. Look forward reading the other books in this series.

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DON’T FORGET TO VOTE FOR THE BLOGGER AWARDS ON NOVEMBER 15. This blog is nominated in the children’s book review category.

 

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