Weeds in Nana’s Garden – Entered in 2017 ATAI Book Award Contest

5 Stars

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Kathryn Harrison

Sometimes a story comes along that touches your heart so much it’ll move you to tears. Kathryn Harrison’s children’s story, Weeds in Nana’s Garden is one of those stories. A young girl enjoys spending time in the garden each summer with her grandmother. They sing songs, create bouquets, hang out with the fairies and simply build a special bond with one another. Unfortunately, Nana begins to show signs of dementia, which the young girl’s mother gently explains to the girl. Over the next few years, the young girl grows into a beautiful young woman as she tries to help her nana move through the continual decline gracefully. Harrision also includes a wonderful Q & A section at the end of the book to help parents, guardians, etc. talk to children about the disease.

Weeds in Nana’s Garden is gloriously depicted with full-color illustrations by the author. Readers will likely feel like they’re spending time in the garden right alongside the gently aging grandmother, her granddaughter, the fairies, the birds and the colorful blossoms. Kathryn Harrison has a gift that she shares not only through her illustrations but her poetic words. A teeny-tiny error here or there could stand to be fixed, but the overall eloquence and importance of Weeds in Nana’s Garden aren’t distracted from at all.

Every library, every doctor’s office, every child’s home bookshelf and every counselor’s office should have a copy of Kathryn Harrison’s Weeds in Nana’s Garden. This is a disease that everyone encounters in one way or another, and Harrison has done such an absolutely beautiful job of shining a light on it, explaining it in a way that children can grasp and yet, still gripping the heart of any reader who peruses the pages of Weeds in Nana’s Garden. Highly recommended.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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