A Garden of Flowers: A Story About Alzheimer's
About this Program
The MSU Extension Alzheimer's Dementia Awareness for Children Storybook Program is designed to teach children about a form of Alzheimer's dementia.
The goals of the program are:
1) to increase awareness and knowledge about Alzheimer’s dementia, and
2) to provide supportive resources to children and families when they have a loved
one is diagnosed with Alzheimer's Dementia.
Authors of the reading guides are:
- Jennifer Munter, Volunteer Program Coordinator. Jennifer is a former Early Childhood Educator and has worked with children and their families for over 15 years.
- Marsha A. Goetting, MSU Extension Family Economics Specialist
Lily’s grandfather has lived with her family ever since Lily was a baby. Lily has
always done so many fun things with her grandfather and they are very close. As Lily
gets older, she starts to notice that her grandfather calls her by the names of different
flowers, but not by her actual name.
Lily’s parents step in and explain to her that her grandfather has developed Alzheimer’s disease. Lily decides to figure out ways she can interact with her grandfather.
Questions to Ask While Reading
- Page 14: Grandpa Henry began calling Lily different names. How did that make Lily feel?
- Pages 16 - 17: When Lily corrected Grandpa Henry, what did he answer back?
- Page 19: Lily wanted to know why her grandpa was forgetting her name. Who answered Lily’s questions?
- Page 22: Lily’s Mom and Dad explained that grandpa had Alzheimer’s disease. Was Grandpa Henry’s Alzheimer’s disease Lily’s fault?
- Page 25: Lily wants to help her grandpa. What does her Mom and Dad tell her she can do to help?
- Page 26: When the story began, Grandpa Henry read stories to Lily. Who read stories to Lily at the end of the story?
- Annoyance or anger: A child may feel annoyed with certain behaviors, like repeatedly being called by the wrong name.
- Sadness: A child may feel sad when they realize an important person in their life is sick.
- Concern: A child may feel concerned and want to help.
- Happy: A child may feel happy when they are able to help the person with Alzheimer's disease.
- Sing, if your happy and you know it. Ask your child(ren) what other feelings did Lily have?
- Ask your child: “What does [insert emotion] look like?” Then sing the song inserting the emotion and the action.
- Ask your child: “Who helped Lily when she was feeling [insert emotion]?”
- Ask your child: “What other feelings did Lily have?”
- Practice identifying emotions: Use clay or playdough to make faces (sad, mad, happy, scared). After you and your child have created your faces, ask your child to identify the feeling he or she is expressing by saying aloud, “I feel___.”
Other Tools and Resources
Additional information to assist caregivers with legal and financial resources is
For other tools and resources, click on Alzheimer's Dementia Resources and Links to Informative Websites
Other Books in this Program
Other MSU ExtensionAlzheimer's Dementia Awareness for Children Storybook Program readingguides within this program include (click on the title of the book to go to that particular
reading guide link):
- Ferguson the Forgetful Frog: A Story About Dementia
by: Dr. Paul J. Gerber
Illustrated by Veronica Geran Gerber
- My New Granny
by: Elisabeth Steinkellner
Illustrator: Michael Roher
- The Remember Balloons
by: Jessie Olivero
Illustrator by: Dana Wulfekotte
- Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young
by Barbara Schnurbush
Illustrated by: Cary Pilo
- What a Beautiful Morning
by Arthur A. Levine
Illustrated by Katie Kath
- When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia
by Toby Haberkorn
Illustrated by Heather Varkarota