To Debra Tidball,
(Charlie aged 8)
It is a pretty sad story, but I liked it. My dad goes away for work, so I liked in the story how her dad went away for work also.
Next time, can you write a story which is happier. Like a magic teapot, which helps old people to stay alive longer. But I do know that when people get old, they have to die at some point. But there is a new life up there, in heaven.
When I read your book, I thought about our Grandpa who is sick. When we go and visit him, we remind him of the old fashioned days. He used to make houses when he was younger. Now, he lives in the house he built but spends a lot of time sleeping. We can’t jump on him anymore like we did when we were little, and we have to be quiet.
Your book is wonderful and you are very clever to have a book people can buy in shops. I write stories and staple them to make books. I have lots of them like Magic Teapot, Football Fever and Seal Magic. Did you write lots of stories when you were my age?
(Tommy aged 7)
The first time I read this I was 6 and my favourite part was the drawing of the boy in the choir who had a missing front tooth and I had a missing front tooth also.
Now I am older, and I read your book again. It was a good idea to let kids know about that old people have to die at some point. But I think maybe you should put an age on the book, so young kids don’t get upset by the grandma dying.
But apart from that it is a really good story and it is really good to know.
The little girl helping the grandma remember was a nice thing to do. When I go see my grandpa I talk to him about how the seeds he gave me last time only 2 grew but the rest didn’t. It’s like how your grandma and grandpa would die, like plants get older and then the plants would die out, like your grandma and grandpa would.
Remembering fun times with your Grandma and Grandpa is a good thing to do. Even if they aren’t alive you can still talk to them. We are lucky we can ring our nanna and grandpa anytime we like.
I liked in the book how the girl always tries to help, that is a nice thing to do. When we visit the Retirement Home with school, I always try to speak to everybody that is there and make them smile. I have one person I go back to each year and they remember me, I think it is because of my hair and my face doesn’t change too much.
Mum tells me you are writing another book. We will write you another letter after your next book.
From Charlie and Tommy
Thank you Debra,
My dad is old, Tommy and Charlie’s grandpa. I knew about your book having read it a year ago, and knew at some stage I wanted to read your book to the boys and see if they can make the connection with their own Grandpa. He doesn’t have dementia, however old age and other illnesses are setting in.
What I love about children’s books is we can open communication with our children in such a gentle way. Your book I knew would be perfect for this.
We all wish you every success on your next publication and looking forward to reading it (or the boys reading it to me).
Debra’s book When I see Grandma deals with dementia, however it is a great book which you can discuss memories, both making memories with your grandparents and your grandparents own memories.
The final page in the book it doesn’t state the grandma passes away, and children can happily read the book without dealing with the complexities of death. However, it is a great chance to open up discussions if needed.
Last year during Dementia Awareness Week I created a free Teacher/Parent resource on Dementia or growing old for students/children. Please feel free to download and use, there are also some other great Picture Books to read with your children/students.
If you enjoyed this letter to the author please read ‘abcTommy’s’ letter to Renee Price, author of Digby’s Moon Mission.
My Letter to Digby’s Author Renee Price, from Tommy aged 6.
If you are an author and would like Tommy and Charlie to send you a letter, please let us know. Thank you.