Books for Children about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Fine artist Kathryn Harrison completed a series of artworks and books related to caregiving and dementia, in response to her personal experience with her mother’s disease.Books for Children about Alzheimer's and Dementia

Today, she shares more about her experience with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as 12 books for children about Alzheimer’s and dementia that she would recommend to other families on this journey.

Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Children

When my mom was diagnosed with dementia, my kids were small. But having my young children take part in our family’s journey with this disease really helped us all. They were more accepting of their Nana’s changes, not so much focusing on what we were losing with the illness but on what could be gained from the current situation. Early on, their activities were fun for her and they found their Nana was great at play. Later, as their Nana became more quiet and less mobile, they learned she was always available for hugs. What’s more, they were able to help care for her, developing their confidence and compassion.

Although kids often feel scared around someone who is acting differently because of a disease, with explanation, patience and reassurance, I found the relationship between my children and their Nana during this time really enriched our family.

From my positive outcome, I was motivated to look for ways to help other families further engage children in the dementia experience. I decided to create a picture book to help kids understand these brain diseases, and encourage their involvement. My new book, “Weeds in Nana’s Garden,” uses a story with expressive illustrations, a garden metaphor, and a Q&A section to explain Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to children.

Weeds in Nana's Garden

Fortunately, the number of books available like mine is growing. In the last two years, many other new books have been published that are also aimed at helping children better understand dementia, inspiring discussion and strengthening participation. Most of these books were written by individuals who also had a personal experience with a dementia disease. I am honoured to have my book be included among them.

12 Books for Children about Alzheimer’s and Dementia

To make it easier for you, I have compiled information about 12 of the most recently published books for you below:

1. Remember Me… Remember Me Not

  • Published May 2014
  • Carma Lee Weisbrook (Author), Susan Shorter (Illustrator)
  • 26 Pages
  • Paperback & Kindle

2. Grandma

  • Published July 2014
  • Jessica Shepherd (Author/Illustrator)
  • 32 Pages
  • Hardcover & Paperback

3. Forget Me Not

  • Published August 2014
  • Nancy Van Laan (Author), Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)
  • 40 Pages
  • Hardcover & Kindle

4. Remembering for Both of Us: A Child Learns About Alzheimer’s

  • Published November 2014
  • Charlotte Wood (Author), Dennis Auth (Illustrator)
  • 32 Pages
  • Hardcover & Paperback

5. When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia

  • Published March 2015
  • Toby Haberkorn (Author), Heather Varkarotas (Illustrator)
  • 40 Pages
  • Paperback & Kindle

6. Harry Helps Grandpa Remember

  • Published June 2015
  • Karen Tyrrell (Author), Aaron Pocock (Illustrator)
  • 34 Pages
  • Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle

7. Great Nanny Doesn’t Remember Me: Dementia Explained to Kids

  • Published June 2015
  • William G Bentrim (Author), Ivan Earl Aguilar (Illustrator)
  • 44 Pages
  • Paperback & Kindle

8. Lovely Old Lion

  • Published August 2015
  • Julia Jarman (Author), Susan Varley (Illustrator)
  • 32 Pages
  • Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle

9. Haven House: A Child’s Perspective of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Published September 2015
  • Rebecca Darling (Author), Alex Perlin (Illustrator)
  • 28 Pages
  • Paperback & Kindle

10. Grandma Noonie Has Alzheimer’s

  • Published October 2015
  • Cindy Chambers (Author), Jim Huber (Illustrator)
  • 38 Pages
  • Paperback

11. A Heart Full of GEMS

  • Published 2015
  • Rev. Linn Possell and Teepa Snow (Authors), Katya Villano(Illustrator)
  • 62 Pages
  • Paperback

12. Weeds in Nana’s Garden

  • Published March 2016
  • Kathryn Harrison (Author/Illustrator)
  • 32 Pages
  • Hardcover, Paperback & Kindle

About the Author

Author / Illustrator Kathryn Harrison is a business professional turned artist.  She has a B.Sc., an M.B.A and worked for over a decade as a Communications Professional before earning a Fine Art Diploma from the Toronto School of Art and continuing as an artist. In creating this picture book, Kathryn has been able to layer all her varied abilities together.

Stirred by her personal experience with her mother’s dementia, Kathryn created this book to support families and spread awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. To take it further, she founded Flipturn Publishing to publish the book, enabling her to make donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada for every book sold. A former competitive swimmer, Kathryn used the name Flipturn Publishing to acknowledge the need to turn and face a new direction once dementia arrives in the family.

What other books for children about Alzheimer’s and dementia should we know about? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.

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