Weeds in Nana's Garden by Kathryn Harrison

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A book to help your child understand Alzheimer’s disease

Unsure about how to explain to your child that their grandparent has dementia?

Weeds in Nana’s Garden, written by Kathryn Harrison, is a book dedicated to helping children understand Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

This book tells the story of a little girl who likes to help her Nana garden. One day she finds weeds tangled with the flowers and understands that it’s because her Nana doesn’t take care of her garden as she used to do because of her dementia. The little girl decides to take care of the garden and to love it as her grandma did. The book is a beautiful metaphor for dementia being weeds in the garden, the garden is different but loved all the same. 

The following is an excerpt from the book:

After another year, the weed in Nana’s garden and the dementia in Nana’s brain grow more. [...] We both work to plant, water and feed the garden.

How can "Weeds in Nana’s Garden" help you?

  • To explain Alzheimer’s or dementia to your child more easily
  • To help your child understand the disease in a more relatable way, through a story

Useful for 

  • Children aged 3 and more
  • A caregiver who has difficulty finding the right words to explain the disease to their child
Characteristics Details

What is special about this book, besides the magical and colorful illustrations, is the Questions and Answers section at the end that was developed by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto and children hand in hand. This collaboration brought in what young kids want to know about Alzheimer’s and dementia.

  • Author and illustrator: Kathryn Harrison
  • Publisher: Flipturn Publishing
  • Published: 2016
  • 32 pages
  • ISBN: 9780994946713

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