What a Beautiful Morning
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
Noah is a young boy who loves to spend his summers at his grandparents’ house. Noah
and his grandpa have rituals they follow. Singing is a big part of every day for Grandpa,
Grandma, and Noah.
They had a docket filled with activities. This summer, Noah’s grandpa starts forgetting the rituals and the songs. He does not even know who Noah is. Noah soon discovers that while things are changing, he can use singing to help bring back memories for his grandpa.
Questions to Ask While Reading
- Pages 1 - 8: Noah and his grandpa loved mornings. What did they do every morning?
- Page 11: Every day, Noah and his grandpa made a docket, or a list of activities they wanted to do. What happened this year to make Noah worry about his grandpa?
- Pages 13 - 16: Grandpa looked scared when Noah woke him from a nap. How did Noah feel when his grandpa did not know who he was?
- Page 21: Music helps people with Alzheimer’s disease remember. What happened to Grandpa when Noah started to play the piano?
- Pages 27 - 28: Grandpa can no longer make a docket for the two of them. Who comes up with the docket now?
- Confusion: Children may feel confused about behaviors they see from the person with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Disappointment: Children may feel disappointed when their loved one can no longer do the same activities with them.
- Scared: Children may feel scared when they see their loved one act strangely or when their loved one treats them differently.
- Joyful: When children find ways to help their loved one, they feel proud and joyful.
- Belly breathing exercise: Have your child lay on his or her back, placing something on their tummy’s (like
a stuffed animal). Encourage them to take belly breaths and watch the object rise and fall. Talk about
how this can help when they are anxious, scared, or mad.
- Home discussion: Talk about the home or planned routine you already have established. Explain to your child that having a plan each day not only helps everyone get things done but it helps take away confusion. You can point out that people with Alzheimer’s disease also do better when they have routines and know what to expect each day.
Other Tools and Resources
For other tools and resources about Alzheimer’s disease, visit:
- Alliance for Aging Research:
- Alzheimer’s Association-Montana Chapter:
- Kids Health:
- Montana Alzheimer’s & Dementia Workgroup Materials:
- National Institute for Aging: www.nia.nih.gov
- Alzheimer’s Association 50 Activities
Spending time with a family member or friend in the middle or late stages of Alzheimer’s can be meaningful and fun.
Other Books in this Program
Other MSU Extension Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness for Children Storybook Program reading guides 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
- A Garden of Flowers: A Story About Alzheimers
by Marta Schmidt Mendez
Illustrated by Andreea Mironiuc
- 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
- When My Grammy Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia
by Toby Haberkorn
Illustrated by Heather Varkarota