About the book

The Purpose

This children’s book will help families when a loved one has dementia, like Alzheimer’s. By explaining these dementia diseases to kids, it will also increase overall awareness, with a goal to reach more people through the schools and libraries. Finally, to further augment the impact of the book, indie publisher, Flipturn Publishing will donate $1 from each book sold to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In this way, our book helps families face the challenge of a dementia disease and changes lives for the better. The Alzheimer Society is Canada’s leading health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. Thank-you for making a difference.

The Story

The picture book follows a young girl and her Nana, who hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana’s magical garden. One day, the girl uncharacteristically finds many weeds in the garden. The girl soon discovers that this change is a result of her beloved Nana having Alzheimer’s Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how the weeds in the garden get in the way of the flowers.

As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl grows to accept the difficult changes, learns to support her Nana with love, and eventually, takes over as the magical garden’s caregiver.

Following the story, a valuable set of Questions and Answers aimed at further explaining Alzheimer’s and dementia to kids is included. The Questions were developed from conversations with dozens of children and the Answers were created with assistance from the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Dementia discovered

 

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Kathryn Harrison and family
“There has always been a link between the human spirit and Mother Nature. In an age where technology dominates many aspects of our lives, Kathryn Harrison uses the intimate connection we have with the natural world to teach children (and adults) the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.” “More importantly, Weeds in Nana’s Garden does not shy away from depicting the bittersweet aspects of life and demonstrates the potential children have to learn, love and be compassionate about challenges we may confront as we age. This is clearly a labour of love for Harrison. I encourage everyone to dive into the colourful world that she has created and along the way be inspired by the indomitable will that is the human spirit.” ~ J.C.Enno

The Illustrations

In an 8 x 10 inch book size, vibrant 2-page painted scenes create the world of Nana’s Garden. Each illustration is developed through layers of conté, acrylic paint, paper and digital collage. As well as following the story, the images change artistically to reflect the story. As you turn each page, you’ll see less colour, less paint, more conté and more tangled lines to represent the disease progression.

But as the journey continues, and the girl grows from the experience, the colours and the calm start to return to the images. What’s more, to grab the attention of young readers, there are tiny fairies and a friendly cat to find in each scene. Finally, you’ll see lots of purple throughout the book as it is the Alzheimer’s Awareness colour. Some of the scenes are pictured here. For a closer peak at the illustrations in the book, take a Look Inside.