About this Program

The MSU Extension Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness for Children Storybook Program is designed to teach children about a form of dementia called Alzheimer’s disease. 

The goals of the program are: 

1) to increase awareness and knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease, and

2) to provide supportive resources to children and families when they have a loved one with the disease.


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

Brief Summary

Recently, Fini has seen her granny acting differently.  She used to make a fuss about Fini’s hairdo. On outings they would go to the park and feed the ducks, Granny used to cover Fini’s head with a hat to hide her hair.

Granny used to travel the world and cooked amazing meals. But now, Granny admires wacky hairdos, eats the breadcrumbs meant for the ducks, and does not travel or cook anymore.  Later Granny moves in with Fini and her family because she needs care. Fini is unsure what to think about this “New Granny.”

Questions to Ask While Reading

  • Pages 1 - 6:  Fini explains all the activities her granny used to do.  What were those activities?
  • Pages 7 - 13:  Granny begins to change and acts differently.  What was one strange thing Granny did? 
  • Pages 14 - 17:  Fini’s Mother asked her to watch Granny.  What happens when her granny falls asleep?
  • Pages 18 - 21:  Fini and her mom got angry with one other.  Everyone needs extra help from time to time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Who is going to help Fini and her mom?
  • Pages 18 - 23:  Fini realizes she can help her granny with a lot of things.  What does Fini do to help her granny? 

Common Reactions

  • Confused: Children may feel confused when they see someone with Alzheimer’s disease act in strange ways.
  • Angry: Children may get angry when they do not understand what they did wrong or when they know you are upset at them. 
  • Helpful: Children may want to help take care of someone they love who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

Activity Enrichment

  • Helping HandsActivity: Someone with Alzheimer’s disease needs a lot of help from many people.  Brainstorm who these people are with your child (ie.  Doctors, nurses, family, friends, neighbors).  Talk about ways Fini helped care for her granny.  Then discuss ways your child could help someone with Alzheimer’s disease.  
  • Practice identifying emotions: Use clay to make faces (sad, mad, happy, scared).  After you and your child have created your faces, ask your child to identify the feeling being expressed by saying aloud:
    • I feel sad.
    • I feel happy.
    • I feel mad.
    • I feel scared.
    • I feel excited.

Other Tools and Resources

For other tools and resources about Alzheimer’s disease, visit:

Other Books in this Program

Other MSU Extension Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness for Children Storybook reading guides within this program include (click on the title of the book to go to that particular reading guide link):

  1. Ferguson the Forgetful Frog: A Story About Dementia

    by: Dr. Paul J. Gerber
    Illustrated by Veronica Geran Gerber

  2. A Garden of Flowers: A Story About Alzheimer's
    by Marta Schmidt Mendez 
    Illustrated by Andreea Mironiuc

  3. The Remember Balloons
    by: Jessie Olivero 
    Illustrator by: Dana Wulfekotte

  4. Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young
    Children
    by Barbara Schnurbush
    Illustrated by: Cary Pilo

  5. What a Beautiful Morning
    by Arthur A. Levine
    Illustrated by Katie Kath

  6. When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia
    by Toby Haberkorn
    Illustrated by Heather Varkarota