Meant to be shared! Caring for a senior who is dealing with dementia or other health issues can be challenging, but also joyful and rewarding. Hilda's Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts is an interactive read-aloud designed for entertainment, understanding, comfort, and connection.
Get a nostalgic glimpse into the true-life story of Hilda, the child of immigrant parents, as she grows up during the years following World War II in a historic city on the coast of Massachusetts. Experience the decades through the wonder of invention and love of family.
"Hilda grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a city with a history of whaling, fishing, and textile mills."
The straightforward story is upbeat, optimistic, and a delight to follow! Vintage photographs and fun illustrations are sure to bring up lots of cheerful memories. The carefully chosen images are accompanied by thoughtful questions that help spark conversation and encourage discussion. Get ready to be surprised and amazed by your loved one’s response!
Hilda's Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts is meant to be shared, and your interaction with your listener can become as meaningful as the story itself. This Picture Book style hardcover (11" x 8.5" / 40 pp.) is a wonderful resource for families and caregivers but can also be offered for someone to enjoy at their own pace.
Excellent to read to an individual or with a small group! A wonderful resource to use as an activity for any home health care worker, at any skilled nursing home, assisted living, or other senior health care facility. Great gift for anyone who has a treasured senior in their life!
About the Author
Siobhan taught visual arts in public schools for over twenty years. She is an artist, mother of two grown children, and "Vovó" (Grandma, in Portuguese). Siobhan and her husband live in Marblehead, which lies along beautiful coastal Massachusetts.
She has provided Professional Development locally and presented workshops at summer studios both in and out of state. Siobhan was a member of the Education Advisory Board at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for four years. She has a B.F.A. (Studio Art) from Montserrat College of Art and an M.Ed. (Arts and Learning) from Endicott College.
Granger St. Studios designs books that combine vintage photographs with question prompts to build communication with seniors of all levels dealing with health challenges (including dementia, stroke, and other chronic issues).
Siobhan is especially passionate about helping seniors with memory loss to connect with loved ones and caregivers through conversation and sharing their own personal stories.
Becky McDonald has been drawing for half a century, and has written and illustrated dozens of personalized books under her product line, Aunt Becky Books (www.auntbeckybooks.com). Her BA in Graphic Design from Eastern Illinois University was the only the beginning of her multifaceted career in art and design. Becky connects with clients through her unique caricatures, colorful illustrations, playful poetry, and text-based graphics. When she's not visiting her three grown children in either New York City or Chicago, she's enjoying the quiet life with her husband and two cats in Western New York.
Table of Contents
Hilda’s Story: New Bedford, Massachusetts Words By Siobhan McDonald Pictures By Becky McDonald Text Copyright © 2019 by Siobhan McDonald Illustrations Copyright © 2019 by Becky McDonald All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.
Visit us at www.grangerstreetstudios.com ISBN 978-1-7330390-0-0
First Edition Printed in the United States
Tips on How to Use This Book:
Introduce the Book to Your Conversation Partner(s):
Tell your partner that this book might connect to their own experiences. Explain that you will be asking questions throughout the story, and you’d like to hear their thoughts. You can also give a brief explanation about why you chose to read this book. “This is the story of a woman who grew up in a city in Massachusetts. I chose it because some of you also grew up in a city,” or “This is a story about a young second-generation American girl who becomes a nurse.”
Build in Time For Your Partner to Respond:
Each illustration is accompanied by two questions. Choose one or both of the questions to begin a conversation. Once you spark some discussion, you may find yourself coming up with additional questions. It’s possible that you spend an entire reading session on one page of the story, and that’s ok. The important thing is that your partner has the opportunity to interact and share their story with you!
Consider Using Direct Prompts for Partners with Verbal Limitations:
You can also ask your Partner to “Point to the car” or other direct prompts, but let your knowledge of them inform your prompts. Respect your Partner by using gentle, open-ended, non-judgmental questions as much as possible. “What were some of your hobbies growing up?” invites more discussion than “Did you ever collect stamps?” Some questions do not invite additional discussion (“What color is the lunchbox?”) but they may be useful for assessment purposes. If your Partner is unable to answer correctly that day, you can move on by saying something like, “Colors can be tricky-why don’t you tell me about what kind of lunchbox you had.”
Watch Your Audience:
Pay attention to your partner’s body language and facial expressions. Be sensitive to signs of confusion or anxiety. You may need to choose another page or book, give your partner something to hold while reading (like a squishy ball), or limit the time of your reading session. Have Fun! This is the most important tip! Be responsive and respectful, and you’ll be amazed at the stories you’ll hear in return!
Sunday was church day. After church, her family ate a delicious Portuguese dinner. Hilda’s mom made the best rice pudding around. Rice pudding is still Hilda’s favorite dessert!
*What were family meals like at your house? *What's your favorite dessert?
New Bedford had lots of clothing factories and lots of stores! Hilda liked buying her dresses at the Star Store. Back in the mid-1800s, this huge department store sold provisions and dry goods to whalers.
*Did you have a favorite clothing store? *Tell me about the clothes you wore for a special occasion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What an amazing gift this is for people with dementia and those who love them. Through thoughtful and creative books, Siobhan McDonald provides interactive ways to connect to those with memory loss in very meaningful ways. I can't imagine how many real conversations and happy moments there will be because of these books. They are also an invaluable tool for memory cafes, assisted living facilities and professional caretakers. What an incredible idea, and thanks to Ms. McDonald for living out her passion in such an important way!
What a fabulous resource! This book helps you build a story and make a strong emotional connection with your loved one (or patient) who has dementia. It's a powerful antidote to the heartbreaking loss we feel when this godforsaken disease has someone we love in its grips. I only wish this were available when my own mother went through it. Thankfully, it's available now.
As my father declined into dementia, I watched countless friends and family members struggling for a way to interact with him, and although there is much published about WHAT is happening to dementia patients, this knowledge still left us visiting without knowing HOW to create meaningful interactions. Hilda’s Story is quite literally a tool that facilitates the very interaction we, and our suffering loved ones, crave. The simplicity behind the book is actually what makes it so powerful as the purpose is to spur interaction, which in my experience can lead to moments of grace. This book should be gifted to the family of every dementia patient as they enter a care facility. From the grandchildren to old friends & siblings, this tool has the potential to improve the quality of our interactions and bridge what can otherwise just feel brutally uncomfortable. Give this a try, you will not be disappointed.
I read this book to my dear friend who has dementia and it was just a magical experience. Usually, on my visits to the care center, we sit in silence and he often just asks me the same questions over and over until I have to leave. But when I read this book, and used the prompts to ask him some questions, something came very much alive inside him! He wouldn't stop talking about his life after world war two and how his wife had the smallest waist he ever saw, and the clothes he used to wear and his friends and all the activities he used to do! It was the best visit I've ever had with him, even before he was diagnosed! I'm not sure how Siobhan McDonald did it, but her story genuinely helped me to reach someone I have missed for a very long time. I can't wait to buy the next book in the series!