Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias.

Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias.

by Kathryn Harrison

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Overview

Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. by Kathryn Harrison

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!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780994946706
Publisher: Flipturn Publishing
Publication date: 02/10/2016
Pages: 34
Sales rank: 651,830
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.09(d)
Age Range: 3 - 9 Years

About the Author

Kathryn Harrison holds an eclectic blend of science, marketing and art skills. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/ Psychology from Queen's University, an MBA in Marketing from McMaster University, worked for over a decade as a Communications professional and then went on to earn a Fine Art Diploma from the Toronto School of Art.

Stirred by her personal experience with her mother's dementia, Kathryn wrote and illustrated this, her first picture book, "Weeds in Nana's Garden". It is designed to support families and spread awareness of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia, in honor of her mom, Bonnie Harrison.

In creating this book, Kathryn has been able to layer all her different abilities together. Her understanding of brain disease stems from her education in science. Real world experience in marketing and advertising has helped her to be a compelling storyteller. And, finally her art training is apparent in her rich, mixed media illustrations that take in the reader and hold them.

Kathryn creates from 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.

Kathryn Harrison holds an eclectic blend of science, marketing and art skills. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/ Psychology from Queen's University, an MBA in Marketing from McMaster University, worked for over a decade as a Communications professional and then went on to earn a Fine Art Diploma from the Toronto School of Art.

Stirred by her personal experience with her mother's dementia, Kathryn wrote and illustrated this, her first picture book, "Weeds in Nana's Garden". It is designed to support families and spread awareness of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementia, in honor of her mom, Bonnie Harrison.

In creating this book, Kathryn has been able to layer all her different abilities together. Her understanding of brain disease stems from her education in science. Real world experience in marketing and advertising has helped her to be a compelling storyteller. And, finally her art training is apparent in her rich, mixed media illustrations that take in the reader and hold them.

Kathryn creates from 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.

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Weeds in Nana's Garden: A heartfelt story of love that helps explain Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias. 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Irene Olson 3 months ago
My father died from Alzheimer’s in 2007. My sister-in-law died from the same horrible disease five years later. Ms. Harrison does such a stellar job writing a story that should be more of a nightmare than a fantasy (at least to us adults) but her adept way of writing for the younger set clearly and beautifully explains why Nana’s just not the same anymore. Whether a child’s Nana or Papa starts showing symptoms of dementia, this beautifully illustrated story will soften the blow, ease the sadness, and help the youth in our families gain a thoughtful understanding of why a close family member acts differently from before. An added bonus to this picture book: the two pages of questions and answers at the end of the book that can be shared with those needing added understanding of this disease that is so very prevalent in the world. Thank you, Ms. Harrison, for writing from a place in your heart that sought to soften the emotional burden for our youngest generation.
p n More than 1 year ago
'Weeds is Nana's Garden' deals with the sensitive topic of Alzheimer's Disease, something that is quite difficult to explain to young children. However, the author has done a commendable job in trying to do just that. By comparing the confusion/disorientation (tangles) in Nana's mind to weeds in a garden, she gives us parents a great metaphor to go back to when answering more probing questions by the kids. While the part where the disease is explained could have been a wee bit more toned down, I loved everything else in the book. The illustrations are beautiful and effortlessly take you through the seasons as well as the progression of Nana's dementia. The story itself also doles out subtle messages to the reader, such as not bothering too much about 'what should be' and rather enjoying 'what is'. My favorite part was when the girl does not stop Nana when she pulls out the flowering plants and instead joins the party! Overall, a wonderful book that introduces the potential symptoms of the disease in a way that'll only encourage greater bonding between a grandparent and grandchild. I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest, unbiased and non-reciprocal review.
freejonah More than 1 year ago
Weeds in Nana’s Garden is an important book for anyone close to someone with Alzeihmer’s disease. Explaining something like this terrible disease to children must be especially heart wrenching. This book does a very good job of explaining it in a way that is clear, effective & informative without trying to “protect” our kids from too much information. Watching a parent or grandparent wither away into dementia is especially difficult for children. Elderly relatives are a window into a time past. A grandparent offers a child wisdom, knowledge, confidence and life lessons that children are drawn to. Dementia steals all of those things from the child before their eyes, slowly but mercilessly. The confusion of dementia steals the one thing from the grandparent that can matter the most to the children: recognition. Unconditional love is something reserved for parents and grandparents. Fear that their grandparents won’t recognize them and thus shatter the core aspect of the relationship can be terrifying. The illustrations are equally effective and do a nice job of elevating the story further. Kathryn Harrison is both writer and illustrator, helping to explain how the pictures and words seem to work so closely together. I love how the little girl ages throughout the book from approximately seven to eleven years old, a very important age span for growing enough to deal with this issue. You can see her build sophistication in her wardrobe, expressions and seaming strength in confronting what is happening to her Nana. I get the feeling this book was built largely on personal experience. Color plays an important role here. The illustrations obviously took a long time and they were meticulously placed. I really like the detail of the little fairy creatures peppered throughout the book. They’re everywhere and they invite you to read the book a second time to just explore the pictures in more detail. Also the metaphor between the healthy garden and the neurological landscape is well crafted and presented. More color means a healthy brain. Maybe flowers are thoughts or memories and the garden is the mind. As it wilts we need to take over for Nanna and help her. There are a lot of ways to read into it and I think that’s intended. Nanna is illustrated and written the way one would want to remember her; strong & pretty with gumption and skills. We watch her wither into a shadow of herself and the little girl is witness to it all. She starts out as a frightened bystander until she realizes she is part of the solution. Well done and recommended.
Heather_L_B More than 1 year ago
Weeds in Nana’s Garden is a lovely book that tries to answer the confusing question of what is happening to a loved one as they get older and develop dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s never easy to see our loved one do things that we don’t understand or doesn’t make sense. Kathryn, through her book, shows us that we can still celebrate the good and the memories, and help let go of the fear and replace it with more happy thoughts. This is a wonderful book to try and start the difficult conversation about why our loved ones are not the same as they used to be.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
Weeds in Nana’s Garden tells the story of a young girl and the bond that she and her nana share. Throughout the years she has helped her nana in the garden, planting and looking after the flowers. One day when she visits her nana there are weeds in the garden, climbing all over the flowers. She doesn’t understand why her nana has stopped caring about her garden. Her mum explains that nana’s brain is sick, and that she has something called Alzheimers, a form of dementia that unfortunately causes unwanted tangles in her brain and everything gets muddled up. Over time the little girls nana becomes sicker and sicker, until she can no longer live at home anymore, but the little girl still goes to her house to look after the garden. Ms. Harrison is to be commended for writing, and illustrating, a thoughtful, poignant book aimed at children on a subject most people find hard to discuss and explain. The story is written in a light-hearted manner, yet shows just how an elderly person can deteriorate once dementia has taken hold. It is told in a very kid friendly way, especially with the added talk of fairies on each page, and children will have no problems understanding it. The illustrations are divine, and are so beautifully drawn. There is pure emotion told in the illustrations that you don’t need words to express how the characters are feeling. Having had a grandparent live with Alzheimers for five years up until it took hold, this book would have come in handy to explain what was happening to my children (the great grandchildren). At the back of the book there is also a questions section that will further help children to understand the illness. This would make a wonderful story to share if a family member or friend is living with dementia, or for a class read, to make children aware of what the condition is, and how it affects people.
A_Schleicher More than 1 year ago
Kathryn Harrison’s book, "Weeds in Nana’s Garden," is truly bitter-sweet; a heart-warming book that helps in understanding a heart-breaking disease. Alzheimer’s disease is relentless and unforgiving - it can steal our loved ones from us years before they’re actually gone. In "Weeds in Nana’s Garden," a young girl who delights in helping tend to her nana’s flower garden struggles to understand why nana has let tangles of weeds begin to overtake the vibrant blooms that once thrived there. With her own mother’s guidance, the young girl learns that her nana now has Alzheimer’s disease. As the young girl learns about Alzheimer’s disease, she figures out ways to best help her nana in the garden and, perhaps most importantly, learns how to stay connected with her nana throughout the disease process. Harrison, the author and illustrator of "Weeds in Nana’s Garden," presents a multifaceted experience in her book. First, the story itself is simply engaging; charming, tear-jerking, and uplifting bound into one book. Second, as the young girl in "Weeds in Nana’s Garden" learns about Alzheimer’s disease, so do the children reading the book. Harrison’s writing and illustrations teach as well as entertain as she pulled upon her own experiences caring for her mother as inspiration for writing "Weeds in Nana’s Garden." Third, Harrison includes a special section dedicated to answering questions that children may have about Alzheimer’s disease. I found "Weeds in Nana’s Garden" endearing, educational, and relevant. In 2016, approximately 5.4 million Americans and approximately 747,000 Canadians are living with Alzheimer’s disease according to the American and Canadian Alzheimer’s Associations, respectively. So, as an occupational therapist in America who works with adults and geriatrics, I work with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias very frequently. I know the effects of this disease, both on the individual and their families. To say it’s difficult is a monumental understatement. Harrison’s "Weeds in Nana’s Garden" could serve as a valuable book to help a child understand the process their parent or grandparent is going through with Alzheimer’s disease. This book is also valuable in another way. Thanks to Harrison’s generosity in helping others who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, she has committed a donation of $1 from the sale of every copy of "Weeds in Nana’s Garden" to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Tiffany Davis for Readers' Favorite Weeds in Nana's Garden by Kathryn Harrison is a children's story about a young girl who enjoys helping her grandma in her garden year after year. One year, weeds start to grow very tall in the garden and Nana is unsure about if they should be pulled. With the help of her granddaughter, the weeds are pulled and the garden continues to be beautiful. The story goes on to explain that Nana also has weeds in her mind that don't allow her to do everything she once did. The disease in Nana's mind is called Alzheimer's Disease and it clouds her mind the way the weeds crowd the garden. This is hard for her granddaughter to understand, but with the help of her mother she begins to realize that Nana will need her help when working in the garden and also other areas. The dementia gets worse and Nana is in need of a wheelchair, but this doesn't stop her granddaughter from wheeling her to the garden while Nana watches her remove the weeds. 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.
Diamante_Lavendar More than 1 year ago
This is a sweet, touching story about a young girl who loves her Nana very much. Sadly, her Nana is affected by Alzheimer’s and she slowly becomes sicker over the course of several years. This picture book speaks of how Alzheimer’s changes a person and how it is painful for loved ones to watch the disease progress. Weeds In Nana’s Garden has wonderful illustrations and a heartfelt story line. The author has dedicated this book to support the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The last pages are filled with questions about Alzheimer’s as asked by children. Answers are given in understandable terms. This book is a visual delight as well as a touching story. I highly recommend it to younger children and their parents as a way to explain the disease known as Alzheimer’s. -Diamante Lavendar, author of Breaking The Silence