Harry Helps Grandpa Remember by Karen Tyrrell
Published by Digital Future Press
Harry lives right nearby Grandpa and Nan and loves to play with Grandpa and his dog Max. Slowly but surely, Harry notices Grandpa is becoming forgetful. He even forgets Harry’s name on Grandparents’ day at school.
Harry hits on a plan, to help Grandpa remember. He makes a diary, to help Grandpa to do all the things he needs to do on the farm. That worked so well that Harry decided a photo album of all of Grandpa’s memories would be even better. The album is a hit with Grandpa, and they chuckle together, remembering old times.
Harry’s teacher loves playing songs from when she was a little girl. Harry hits on another idea. He asks Nan to play Grandpa’s favourite song, which gets Grandpa dancing along happily to the beat. Harry asks Nan what Grandpa liked to do when he was young. Harry and Nan cook up a secret plan, to help Grandpa enjoy even more memories.
The day of Harry’s birthday arrives and Grandpa presents Harry with his birthday cake, of which Grandpa helped to make. Harry sees how much that makes Grandpa happy, doing the things he used to love to do as a young man, but the best present ever is when Grandpa remembers Harry’s name.
This is such a sweet story, with a very poignant message about how to care for and nurture folks that are suffer from the debilitating illness of dementia. I loved that Harry did not give up on his Grandpa, but tried to find strategies to help him to remember. These early intervention strategies can certainly be implemented by anyone dealing with a loved one with dementia, and I applaud Karen Tyrrell for making such a lovely story to help children cope with, and understand this baffling disease. The illustrations by Aaron Pocock are delightful, depicting the endearing characters of Harry and his family.
I believe this would make an excellent resource for children ages 4-8, who have encountered an adult with dementia.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Karen Tyrrell
Illustrator: Aaron Pocock
Title: Harry Helps Grandpa Remember
Publisher: Digital Future Press
Published: June 2015