September 21, 2019

#BookReview: Weeds in Nana's Garden Kathryn Harrison

Synopsis: A young girl and her Nana hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana's magical garden.

Then one day, the girl finds many weeds in the garden. She soon discovers that her beloved Nana has Alzheimer's Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how weeds get in the way of flowers. As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl accepts the difficult changes with love, and learns to take-over as the magical garden's caregiver.

Extending from the experience of caring for her mother, artist Kathryn Harrison has created this poignant story with rich illustrations to candidly explore dementia diseases, while demonstrating the power of love. It is a journey that will cultivate understanding and touch your heart.

After the story, a Question and Answer section about Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia is included.

$1 from the purchase of this book will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. 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!

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About the Author:  Canadian, Kathryn Harrison, holds an intriguing blend of science, marketing and art skills. In writing and illustrating the picture book, “Weeds in Nana’s Garden”, Kathryn has layered all these different abilities together. Stirred by her personal experience with her mother’s dementia, Kathryn created paintings and wrote this book to support families and spread awareness of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia. Kathryn’s goal is always to create from the heart. She strives to do so from her studio in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, a small town just outside of Toronto, where she is continuously inspired by her kids, her cats and her colorful natural surroundings.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This kid friendly story will make you cry.  A little girl learns that her grandmother has Alzheimer's and follows the little girl as her grandmother degeriates over time.  This heartwarming story shows how Alzheimer's can impact a family and how that family can move past this illness.  This would be a good title for children having to deal with this in their family.  With colorful artwork to make the reader swoon. This title is a work of art in story form.  The first page of the actual story with the little girl hugging her grams is one that I would love to frame and hang on the wall.  If you have a child that is dealing with this illness in their family I could see how this title could help them. It also comes with a list of questions that kids might ask about Alzheimer's with kid friendly answers so you know how to reply.  I think this would help parents as well since a lot of times as a parent you can get stuck on what to say.   

Overall, I think this book could help a lot of kids. That it can be very hard when someone you love has Alzheimer's or Dementia and there will be good days and bad day.  But just remember that even though they may not be able to remember you they still love you. 

"Dementia is a growing issue for families, young and old. It is often difficult for parents to talk about the disease with young children, yet Kathryn has managed to do so in an insightful and thoughtful way. I have worked in the dementia field for close to 20 years and think this book is a great tool to begin the conversation and increase children's knowledge of how to cope with the disease."Marija Padjen, B.S.W., M.S.W., Recognized expert in dementia programming.

"A simply written and beautifully illustrated book that captures the unfolding transitions of an aging mind. Artwork with the story helps young readers to begin to develop a better understanding about Alzheimer's Disease, while opening room for more dialogue and discussion about it. This book brings the reader to recognize the more important, deeper emotional connections a child has for a grandparent or someone they love, regardless of where the mind may go. A must have book for every elementary school library or therapist's practice who work with children." S. Percival, M.A, LiveWell Counselling & Consulting.

"5 STARS! This story is very simple and sweet; it teaches children about dementia while also teaching them to help people. The illustrations within the story were beautiful, and bursting with color. It gave an actual feeling of being in a garden. It also gives very good detail on the progress of the garden, along with the increased need to assist Nana. At the end of the story, there were questions and answers to further educate the young reader about dementia and how it affects people differently. Great job by the author of this children's book; it was simple and easy to understand! I loved this story." T. Davis, Readers' Favorite.

From the Author


My kids were small when my mom was diagnosed with dementia. The poignant experience stirred me to create this book and a walk through my mom's beautiful garden with my daughter inspired the story. After the walk, my 6 year old daughter and I spoke about brain disease and she made the connection between how the growing weeds in the garden were like the disease growing in the brain. It seemed simple yet understandable ~ I had my idea for a picture book.

I hope you find Weeds in Nana's Garden to be a candid yet approachable exploration into Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. It honestly follows the typical stages of these brain illnesses and provides interesting, colourful images children can enjoy, while also celebrating the strength of the heart. I dedicated the book to my mom, Bonnie Harrison, but it honours all those who are afflicted with dementia and all those who never stop loving, even as it endures.

Please enjoy reading this loving story in the garden. And together, we can cultivate a better understanding of these dementia diseases, while also giving to the Alzheimer Society of Canada with every book purchased.

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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