A Letter to Author Debra Tidball from Tommy (aged 7) and Charlie (aged 8) 5


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).

From Jen.

To parents/teachers,

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.


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5 thoughts on “A Letter to Author Debra Tidball from Tommy (aged 7) and Charlie (aged 8)

  • Debra Tidball

    Thank you Charlie and Tommy and Jen.
    I am so happy that you took the time to write to me.
    I will write you a reply when I’ve let your lovely words sink in.
    All the best and thank you again,

  • Karen Tyrrell

    Thanks Jenny,
    For encouraging your children to read books about grandparents and the VIP relationship children have with those with memory loss..

    As a picture book author on Alzheimer’s and a daughter of someone with memory loss, I know how important it is to raise awareness.

    Thanks Jenny, Tommy, Charlie … and Debra …Hugs xx

  • Karen Tyrrell

    Hi ABC Jenny,

    I’d love Tommy and Charlie to write me a letter about one of my six award winning children’s books…
    Song Bird Superhero
    Jo-Kin vs Lord Terra
    Jo-Kin Battles the It
    Harry Helps Grandpa Remember
    STOP the Bully
    Bailey Beats the BLAH
    Please let me know which book you’re interested in, and I will post you a FREE copy today.
    Many Thanks,
    Karen Tyrrell

    • abcjenny Post author

      I am so sorry Karen I haven’t replied to you earlier. Tommy and Charlie would love to receive a book from you to review. They would love to read one of your chapter books, and are happy to keep it as a surprise as to which one. In the school holidays they would love to read it, review it and send you a letter about their thoughts. I will private message you details of where to send, through your Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KarenTyrrellAuthor/
      Thanks again, and sorry for the delay, Jen.