Stirred by her mother’s dementia, local artist Kathryn Harrison created this picture book to help explain dementia diseases to children, while also supporting the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Weeds in Nana’s Garden was created to improve the lives of families touched by dementia. It is also expected to increase overall awareness of Alzheimer’s through its broad appeal and reach. Together with captivating illustrations and an inspirational story, writer/illustrator Kathryn Harrison uses a garden metaphor to help children better understand dementia brain diseases.
What’s more, $1 from the sale of each book will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada – Canada’s leading health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
“After my mother’s passing from young onset dementia in 2010 I knew I had to do something to help – something to foster understanding and provide much needed support to families enduring the hardship that is dementia,” said Harrison.
Thus she created an engaging children’s picture book that guides the reader through the typical stages of dementia. Her illustrations were inspired by her mother’s gorgeous garden in Port Hope.
Wanting to do more still, Harrison decided to donate a portion of the book proceeds to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, an organization that supported her greatly during her mother’s illness. Recalls Harrison, “the Alzheimer Society had counsellors that knew what to do, when no one else did.”
The book tells the story of the bond between a grand-daughter and her Nana within a magical garden. It’s targeted at families with young children and filled with imaginative images to draw in the reader. It is a candid yet approachable book, as it also celebrates the remarkable strength of the heart. After the story, a child-focused Question and Answer section is included.
Harrison, a business professional turned artist, holds an interesting mix of science, marketing and art skills. She founded Flipturn Publishing to publish the book, enabling her to maximize contributions to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. A former competitive swimmer, Harrison used the name Flipturn Publishing to acknowledge the need to turn and face a new direction once dementia arrives in the family.
Buy Weeds in Nana’s Garden from the book’s website, weedsinnanasgarden.com , at select local retailers or online at www.amazon.ca. The book is available in hardcover, softcover and ebook formats. You can also see the book’s development on Instagram by following @kathryn.harrison.art.