Helping children understand dementia
by Jane Fagan | October 07, 2016
The subject of memory loss and ageing is dealt with very well in the book Newspaper Hats.
The main character, Georgia, is a little girl who visits her Grandpa in a nursing home. Grandpa, sadly, doesn't remember her. Georgie shows a child-like concern and kindness towards her Grandpa's state of mind. Certain things will trigger a memory for him, but what?
Georgie uses Grandpa's prized hoard of newspapers to encourage him. Read on to discover how she brings out the best of Grandpa's memory through the simple art of making a newspaper hat! Endpapers feature beautiful newspapers from bygone eras.
Illustrations are predominantly pastel colours of sunshine-lemon, light purple, and blue. The illustrator skillfully brings out emotions of happiness and cheer with deft strokes of the pencil reminiscent of a black and white newspaper. When there is sadness it is not portrayed in a way that darkens the overall optimistic message of the book - it is subtle and not overwhelming.
Family and friends are shown gathering together with Grandpa in the normality of family interaction - singing, clapping a new baby on “Mrs Carlton’s lap”, and interacting with each other.
The overall feeling is one of child-like simplicity and cheerfulness.
A former children's librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time wife and mother of two.