18 Best Dementia Books For Children (2021)

dementia books for children

We carefully reviewed 50+ dementia books for children with our little ones to pick the best 18.

Nowadays, it is a bit easier to talk to young ones about dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Which we absolutely should.

When a close relative develops dementia, it may be a confusing time for the young minds as they have to deal with all the challenges that are happening.

At this point, our kids NEED ALL THE SUPPORT they need to get through the new developments.

While it may be natural to want to protect our children, it is always best to let them know the truth in a way that they will understand.

Answer any questions the children have gently.

Remind them that their loved one is STILL a person and even though there may be changes.

Inform them that they can STILL spend quality time with their grandparents or parents but be sure to highlight boundaries so that everyone ends up having a good time.

It is also important to prepare the little ones for the unexpected, seeing that the illness comes with unpredictability.

If you are caught in a situation where you have to talk to children about dementia, there are plenty of resources you can use to your advantage.

Here is a list of the best books that will help you.

Best Alzheimer’s & Dementia Books For Children

1. Granny Mary Thinks Differently

granny mary thinks differently kids book
Granny Mary Thinks Differently is an adorable children’s book that looks at the experience young Anna goes through when her grandmother gets diagnosed with dementia.

Our young ones can easily relate to the different activities that a grandchild and a grandparent enjoy together. Not only through words but also through the lovely illustrations, which make Granny Mary Thinks Differently an excellent picture book about dementia.

The book ends with a compelling statement that left a strong impression on us.

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2. I Smile For Grandpa: A loving story about dementia disease for young children

i smile for grandpa a loving story about dementia disease for young children
I Smile for Grandpa takes young minds through a beautiful transformational journey of a young boy (Little Buddy) and his grandpa, who has developed dementia. Little Buddy realizes that spending time with his grandpa will no longer be the same.

Written by Jaclyn Guenette and illustrated by Kathryn Harrison, the book does a great job at captivating the various behavior and emotions that people with dementia exhibit.

A great read for all ages, it offers a better understanding of dementia through the eyes of children.

It is one of the dementia books for children that offer reassurance and hope for the little ones without protecting them from the realities of the illness.

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3. Granny Can’t Remember Me: A Children’s Book About Alzheimer’s

granny can't remember me a childrens book about alzheimer's
Granny Can’t Remember me is an endearing story by Susan McCormick who is an award-winning author and a doctor. It is about Joey, a 6-year-old boy and his granny.

Granny has lost her memory and can’t remember most of the things that Joey likes. However, she still spends quality time with Joey telling him stories reassuring the young man of her love.

The book offers background on Alzheimer’s disease addressing the illness warmly and sensitively.

The primary lesson children can draw from this book is that older persons with Alzheimer’s can still be loved and show love.

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4. When My Granny Forgets, I Remember: A Child’s Perspective on Dementia

when my granny forgets i remember a child's perspective on dementia
Authored by Toby Haberkorn, When My Granny Forgets, I Remember is one of the most wonderfully written dementia books for children with charming illustrations.

The book tells a story of the shifting relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter. It starts with examples of grandma doing fun activities with her grandchild.

As time goes by, the little girl notices that her granny constantly forgets things and acts strangely.

She has a conversation with her mum and the little girl knows that her beloved grandma has a brain disease.

The sweet and short storybook is perfect for helping young kids understand the changes that people go through after developing dementia.

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5. Always My Grandpa: A Story for Children About Alzheimer’s Disease

always my grandpa a story for children about alzheimer's disease
A thoughtful book, Always My Grandpa brings up various issues that people with dementia deal with. These include repeating questions, forgetfulness, and the fact that the illness can cause a person to die sooner.

It talks about Daniel and his mother and how they usually spend summer with his grandfather. Then, Grandpa begins to change, and little Daniel discovers that his grandpa has Alzheimer’s.

It is an excellent resource for kids who are watching their grandparents suffer from the disease.

While it is an easy read, Linda Scacco, the author offers a realistic explanation of a subject that can be quite difficult for youngsters.

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6. Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children

striped shirts and flowered pants a story about alzheimer's disease for young children
Written by Barbara Schnurbush, this is a fun book that delicately explains to young persons’ how Alzheimer’s disease can change the lives of their grandparents.

It follows the life of Libby and her nana, who start by engaging in tons of fun activities, but things start to change.

Libby learns that her nana has Alzheimer’s disease and through reassurance from her family, she learns it is okay for her grandma to wear flowered pants and striped shirts.

In as much as it is one of the helpful dementia books for children, adults can also use it to get some pointers for helping their kids deal with their worries and feelings.

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7. Grandma and Me: A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

grandma and me a kids guide for alzheimer's and dementia
Starring Matthew, a young boy who has a special relationship with his grandmother, Grandma and Me is a collaborative effort between Beatrice Tauber, a psychologist, and Mary Ann, a registered nurse.

The book addresses Alzheimer’s disease with a lot of understanding and love focusing on the age-appropriate descriptions of the illness.

The book features attractive artwork that will grab the attention of young readers, keeping them interested in the information the book has to offer.

It gives kids useful tools to continue having loving and positive relationships with their loved ones despite the challenges that the disease brings about.

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8. Weeds in Nana’s Garden: A Heartfelt Story of Love That Explain Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias

weeds in nanas garden a heartfelt story of love that explain alzheimer's disease and other dementias
Weeds in Nana’s Garden is one of the dementia books for children aged between 9-12 years will enjoy. It talks about a young girl who is fond of helping her nana in the garden.

Weeds attack the garden and grandma is not sure if she should remove them. So, together with her granddaughter, they pull the tall weeds in the garden and it continues to blossom beautifully.

The book features whimsical, colorful, and bright illustrations. Other than this, it tackles the topic of Alzheimer’s disease in a heartfelt and provocative manner.

Kathryn Harrison (author) does a great job at fostering compassion and sympathy by harmoniously blending emotional engagement, inspiration, and education.

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9. Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? : An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease for Children

why did grandma put her underwear in the refrigerator
Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator is a book told from the point of view of Julie, a 7-year-old girl.

Julie lives with her grandma, who has developed Alzheimer’s disease. The dynamics of Julie’s relationship with her nana end up changing when they can no longer enjoy their past activities.

The young girl comes up with new ways to maintain her relationship with grandma.

The simple yet relatable book by Carolyn Given and Max Wallack presents several embarrassing and stressful situations that a family may have to deal with when taking care of a person who has Alzheimer’s and how to address them in the best possible way.

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10. My Book About Brains, Change, and Dementia: What is Dementia and What Does it Do?

my book about brains change and dementia what is dementia and what does it do
Thoughtfully written by Lynda Moore, My Book about Brains, Change, and Dementia is a great read for preschoolers and adults alike. It is one of the dementia books for children that simplify dementia without disguising the illness.

It explains various concepts of the disease, including functions of the brain and how the disease progresses.

The book does a great job of breaking down dementia misconceptions. It also includes two pages on death that readers can skip if the little angels cannot understand the concept.

The book ends with a question section that kids and adults can deliberate over.

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11. Can I Tell You About Dementia:  A Guide for Family, Friends, and Carers

can i tell you about dementia a guide for family friends and carers
Offering a fresh approach to dementia, Can I Tell You About Dementia is one of the books that offer a simple guide to dementia for both adults and children.

This is done through the experience of Jack, an older man who is living with dementia. He lets readers into his world, talking about the challenges that people with the disease face.

The first-person approach in this piece makes the details more personal.

The book also features a couple of informative pages that explain an overview of different dementia types, figures, facts, dementia-friendly environments, and resources that people with the illness will find useful.

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12. What Happens When My Grandparent Has Alzheimer’s Disease?

what happens when my grandparent has alzheimer's disease
An insightful book with 24 pages, this is one of the dementia books for children ideal for young boys and girls aged 7-10 years.

Christine Honders (author) has crafted the book so that young readers can understand what Alzheimer’s disease is. She uses simple language that all readers can easily understand.

It also offers healthy coping strategies that the young ones can use when someone they love deals with the disease.

The book has been skillfully illustrated with suitable images and text aid readers that help give a better picture of the illness and the changes that will come along.

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13. Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children

sometimes even elephants forget
A charming book by Kathleen Welch, Sometimes Even Elephants Forget presents an enlightening story about dementia. It provides a wonderful tale that resonates with kids of all ages.

Welch illustrates some of the communication and behavioral changes that persons with Alzheimer’s disease face. She delicately does this in a way that young kids can accept and understand.

The book beautifully captures the challenges of the illness. It offers readers an enjoyable view of the patience and kindness people can exercise when facing behavior from grandparents.

It also has pretty amazing drawings that will keep readers interested from the beginning to the end.

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14. Fishing with Grandpa: A Children’s Story About Alzheimer’s

fishing with grandpa a childrens story about alzheimer's
In Fishing with Grandpa, a young boy recounts some pleasant memories where he spends his summers with his grandpa. They go out to sea to fish and engage in conversations.

When his grandpa gets Alzheimer’s, he can no longer go out on their fishing trips or carry out conversations as they did in the past.

The book written by Rebecca Hummel Kenyon explains the effects that Alzheimer’s has on young kids.

These include the symptoms that affected persons have and how children can cope with the changes.

It is one of the dementia books for children that is quite an eye-opener for both adult and young readers.

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15. The World’s Greatest Grandpa: A Children’s Guide to Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

the world's greatest grandpa
The World’s Greatest Grandpa is an incredible book that gives a good sense of what Alzheimer’s disease is all about.

It is centered on Quincy, a young boy who is 8 years old, and his relationship with his grandpa, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

It lets young kids understand why their grandparents may be behaving differently when they get dementia. The book not only teaches young ones about brain disease but also teaches caring and compassion for the elderly.

To give the readers more information, the book offers a list of credible resources and a glossary of terms at the end.

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16. Big Momma’s Sweet Potato Pies: A Children’s Guide to Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease

big momma's sweet potato pies
Big Momma’s Sweet Potato Pies is an incredible book authored by Dr. Joseph Morris. It tells a story of a sweet grandma who is known for her delicious sweet potato pies.

However, she can no longer make the potato pies when she develops Alzheimer’s disease and the illness starts progressing.

Grandma no longer remembers the recipe, and she is not even safe working in the kitchen alone. However, her sister steps in and offers a hand.

Big Momma’s passion and hard work grow to make significant support to doctors and scientists working hard to discover an Alzheimer’s disease cure.

This is one of the dementia books for children with creative and colorful illustrations to keep things interesting.

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17. Understanding Alzheimer’s: A Coloring Book for Children

understanding alzheimer's a coloring book for children
Written by Darlyn Davis, Understanding Alzheimer’s is one of the most interesting books that kids can use to learn about the progressive illness.

She came up with the idea for the book after watching her great-grandma suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She went on to be an advocate for research and awareness by volunteering with assisted living homes and the Alzheimer’s Association.

The book offers readers an opportunity to have fun as they learn about the disease and its effects it has on our little ones. The book mostly focuses on introducing Alzheimer’s indicators.

This is presented in a fun way, so that young kids get an insight into how to identify the illness.

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18. What’s Wrong With Grandpa? A Children’s Story About Alzheimer’s Disease

what's wrong with grandpa
Based on a true story, What’s Wrong with Grandpa is one of the must-read books for anyone looking to educate kids on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia types.

It focuses on a loving relationship between a grandfather and Daisy, a ten-year-old young girl. Grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Daisy is disheartened to see her grandfather go through multiple changes.

He becomes more forgetful and confused while spending time with her granddaughter.

The book brings out a great transformational relationship between granddaughter and grandfather through Daisy’s tenderness and love.

Authored by Danielle Cohen, this is one of the dementia books for children ideal for young ones between the ages of 6 to 8.

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Granny Mary Thinks Differently: Children’s Book About Dementia

granny mary thinks differently children's book about dementia

Granny Mary Thinks Differently is an eBook for everyone in the family facing dementia.

Dementia is a syndrome that does not have a cure yet. Unfortunately, it affects every family member, including children.

It happens very commonly in families that we completely forsake explaining dementia to children. It is a challenging term for a child to understand. That’s why we need to teach them about the condition their grandparent is facing.

Very often, the child and the grandparent are best friends. However, when dementia occurs, their relationship can change drastically.

Sometimes, kids think it’s their fault, which can even lead to depression.

Explaining Dementia to Children and Young People

With lovely and educational children’s book, Granny Mary Thinks Differently, you can now educate your child about dementia conveniently.

Through carefully picked words and engaging illustrations, your child will understand that dementia is a disease.

They will learn that they are not guilty of a negative reaction from grandparents. The book will also help them stop having the feeling that grandparents no longer like them.

Tell your child when you feel sad, angry, tired, or in a bad mood because of your grandparent’s dementia.

Emphasize that the child is not to blame for your feelings and that he or she has done nothing wrong.

Talk to Children and Young People About Dementia

Additionally, allow the child to talk about their fears, concerns, and emotions related to the changes they observe and experience in grandparents or the family.

It is important that the child does not experience feelings of guilt. You should clearly explain to your child that no one in the family is to blame for the illness – dementia.

At the same time, we need to assure the child that he will not get dementia and that he should not worry about his future or his parents’ future (dementia is rarely hereditary).

If you teach a child about the disease (especially about the noticeable signs that he will easily notice), it will not affect him.

This especially applies to situations when the grandparent forgets his name, repeatedly asks the same question, will no longer want to read them a fairy tale, or even becomes angry at them.

The child will know that this is an expression of the disease. Not the fact that the grandparent no longer likes him/her.

We can also direct the child to preventive action like reading, exercise, quality sleep, learning, healthy eating.

In short, explaining what is good for the brain and how he/she should take care of his/her body to be healthy for as long as possible.

Knowledge is a cure (for the whole family) when we face dementia.

The more information and knowledge a child has about dementia, the easier it will be to find themselves in a new position. When you do not have the answers to all the questions, your child has asked you, find information and solutions together.

Buy Granny Mary Thinks Differently

Granny Mary Thinks Differently

We discover dementia and get to know it through the childhood curiosity of Granny Mary’s granddaughter, Anna.

granny mary thinks differently

Hidden in the story are important questions about age, illness, family, friendship, and love, which gives us the strength and courage to cope with the changes that dementia brings to the family.

There are currently about 50 million people who have dementia globally.

The number keeps increasing by almost 10 million each year.

Thus, the topic is rapidly becoming more and more relevant, both on a daily basis and in children’s literature. Changes that come with the disease touch all family members.

Furthermore, everyone accepts the effects of dementia differently, so studying the condition carefully is very important, especially in children.

Children’s world

The book is dedicated to all families, but especially to the grandchildren of grandparents who think differently.

The heartiness and patience of Anna, the granddaughter of grandmother Mary, will invite you to the children’s world, which is often ignored and overlooked when we face illness – dementia – in the family.

By talking to a child in an understandable and acceptable way, we make them aware and influence the recognition and understanding of dementia in society.

Dear Grandma, Grandpa

Even if you forget everything, you will not be forgotten. Let this children’s book on dementia be a display of love that gives us the strength and courage to face change.

Dementia changes a person, but it does not change the family and the love that embraces it.

Dear Granddaughter, Grandson

Let the book be a consolation to you when the days are hard and when you don’t understand your grandmother or grandfather due to their challenging condition.

Remember that the illness needs love. Your help and warmth are always valuable. Ask any question you may have and seek knowledge.

Buy Granny Mary Thinks Differently

Reviews & Comments

Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

This is a very helpful resource designed to help children better understand why someone they love is changing and seems so different. Petra Boh has done an excellent job of comparing the normal role and relationship of a special Grandma with what might be a new possibility after significant symptoms have started to appear. The illustrator, Andreja Karba, has done terrific work creating a mix of scenes that have action in them, while also highlighting some of the objects or emotions that could be identified by children. This is so needed by families around the world who are coping with these very real situations.” – Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, Founder of Positive Approach to Care®

Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development, Center for Applied Research in Dementia

In Granny Mary Thinks Differently we are given the opportunity to see a woman with dementia through the eyes of her granddaughter, Anna. A strong message throughout is the power of love to maintain our humanity. As her granddaughter sees changes in her grandmother, the little girl also learns how to adapt to these changes so that she can maintain their positive and loving relationship. This is a powerful and important lesson to learn, for Anna and for all of us.

Zvezdan Pirtosek, M.D., Ph.D.

Dementia – a word that a doctor wrote in grandmother’s medical record. In front of little Anna, curious and playful, a new world has unfolded, in which her beloved grandmother thinks and behaves differently than before. In “Granny Mary Thinks Differently,” Anna reveals her wonder and her sadness, but also her acceptance, understanding, and finally, the realization that touches us deeply – especially when expressed by a child. The body can become numb, the mind tiresome, and the memory fades – but not the friendship and love that Anna will always feel for her grandmother.

Laura Herman, Elder and Dementia Care Professional

My kids are ages 7 and 8, and I was curious as to how they’d react to Petra Boh’s new children’s book about dementia: ‘Granny Mary Thinks Differently.’ We sat down to read it together. They were immediately drawn in by Andreja Karba’s sweet and colorful illustrations. They delighted in small details, like the framed rabbit portraits that appear throughout the pages. Both kids enjoyed reading about how 7-year-old Anna and Granny Mary spent their time together. They instantly related, and imagined sharing these activities with their own grandmother.”

“They found themselves very engaged in the story. As Granny Mary started to decline, my 8 year old boy choked up, commenting that he didn’t know what he’d do if his Memaw started feeling and acting like that. He especially appreciated the pages about how Anna and the doggie could help Granny Mary feel better when she was having a hard time.”

Teodora Ghiur, Cognitive Neuroscience

Informative, engaging, and accurate, this e-book is an excellent educational tool for all children. Unfortunately, memory degeneration has become a part of life for many of us growing and living with grandparents. Using story-telling and strong visual imagery, this short e-book explains topics that are often painful to put into words, like Alzheimer’s and Dementia in an easy-to-understand and dynamic format. Written into a compassionate tone of voice, this e-book offers excellent science-based information in a language accessible to the little ones.

Jana Mali, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work

The main narrator of the story is seven-year-old Anna, who describes how she experiences Granny Mary’s changes due to dementia. This children’s book is a good example of how parents can approach the world of dementia with their child by reading Anna’s story. A child’s perspective on understanding dementia; a world that is different from ours because thinking happens in a special way.

It’s important that Granny Mary remains the main character of the story from beginning to end, as the perspective of people with dementia is still too often overlooked in everyday practices. The recording of the story through the view of a person with dementia represents a great signpost for a change in the relationship we have with people experiencing dementia. We expect changes in a better understanding of dementia, most from the young and middle generation representatives, who will also be the most likely to pick up the book. Let’s take the time to share this children’s book with our kids and consider the next steps for a healthy relationship with people with dementia.”

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