In this episode of Confetti Park Storytime, we hear the loving and endearingly bittersweet Sometimes Even Elephants Forget: A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children, narrated by the author Kathleen Welch. You’ll love the main characters: two elephants, Grandma Bawa and grandson Mookie, and Kip, a kind and clever hedgehog, who have an adventure together in the jungle.
The printed children’s book version is adorably illustrated by Kathleen Welch’s husband Alan McGillivray, who also helps provide sound effects in this playful narration.
When Grandma Bawa and her sweet grandson Mookie spend the day together exploring water holes and jungle paths, Grandma forgets her hat, loses her brush, gets lost, confuses her grandson’s name, and tells stories of things that happened long ago as if they just occurred. When danger threatens, Grandma Bawa’s love for her family shines through the clouds of her memory, and she remembers important and primal things she learned as a child.
It’s a wonderful story that shines as an example of how we should care for our loved ones, and how a community can come together for protection.
Kathleen Welch has an MPH and PhD from Tulane University where she has been teaching courses in the graduate program on chronic disease prevention, such as Alzheimer’s. She also teaches graduate online courses in this area at the University of New England. She has been an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association and worked with Louisiana’s Rep. Cedric Richmond to pass important legislation on Alzheimer’s prevention.
At the end of Sometimes Even Elephants Forget, which is available from Pelican Publishing and on Amazon, there is a guide to further discussion with young children and a resource list for families facing this devastating disease.
Kathleen and Alan will be among the featured authors and illustrators at the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, being held March 19-21. Learn more about this event at https://bookfest.tulane.edu/.
Thank you Andre Cormier, Production Manager of Mt. Blue Television, University of Maine at Farmington, for your help with the recording of this podcast. And thank you, Kathleen and Alan, for sharing your wonderful story with Confetti Park!