Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison, picture book, published by Flipturn Publishing in 2016.
Nana’s garden is a special place, full of blooms, lush greenery and fairies. A young girl enjoys time with her Nana in the garden throughout the year, until one summer she discovers weeds choking the garden beds. She has never seen weeds like that in Nana’s garden, and she doesn’t know how or why her Nana would let the garden get like that. Her mother explains that Nana has Alzheimer’s Disease, and her brain is developing more and more tangles that make it hard for her to think and remember, a bit like how the weeds in the garden were making it hard for the plants to grow properly.
Weeds in Nana’s Garden is a lovely picture book designed to help explain Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias to young children through a garden analogy. The weeds in the garden are like the tangles growing in Nana’s mind, causing her confusion, frustration and forgetfulness. It is sad to experience a loved one being claimed by dementia, and it can be very difficult to explain the process to children. This book will make it much easier for children to understand what is happening.
Each page is executed with colourful illustrations. Can you find the cat and fairies in each picture? The text is simple and easy to read, and the story is not too long. It is well written for the intended audience.
I think this book would be an excellent resource for families dealing with the onset of dementia in their loved ones. There is a question and answer section at the back that answers some of the common questions that children might ask. This will help parents to explain this disease in simple terms to their children.
Weeds in Nana’s Garden is suitable for preschoolers to primary school children. Sales of this book will also help the Alzheimer Society of Canada, with $1.00 from each book sold being donated to them.
*I received this book as a digital copy from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.