Grandma Forgets

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Paperback edition now out in AU and NZ. Available late February in US, CA and UK.

Grandma Forgets is a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable and currently long-listed for Picture Book of the Year! Congratulations Paul and Nicky!

Grandma Forgets is the heart-warming story of a family bound by love as they cope with their grandma’s dementia. Over the years, the little girl has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms.

A hopeful story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care. She might not remember any of their names but she will always know how much she is loved.

SPECIFICATIONS: Hardcover / Paperback | 245 x 255 mm / 9½ x 10 Inches | Colour | 24 Pages |

Paul Russell Paul Russell is a teacher, artist, playwright, author and father of two. His obsession with children’s literature stems back to his deepest desire to never actually grow up. Spending his days as a teacher, his nights are filled with a beckoning notepad and laptop. This is his first picture book.

Nicky Johnston is an educator, speaker and author/illustrator of children’s books. She is passionate about promoting emotional resilience in children and raising awareness of mental health issues. Her love of teaching sees her kept busy with school visits and presenting at workshops and conferences.

Grandma Forgets is the heart-warming story of a family bound by love as they cope with their grandma’s dementia. Over the years, the little girl has built up a treasure trove of memories of time spent with Grandma: sausages for Sunday lunch, driving in her sky-blue car to the beach, climbing her apple trees while she baked a delicious apple pie, and her comforting hugs during wild storms.

But now, Grandma can’t remember those memories. She makes up new rules for old games and often hides Dad’s keys. Sometimes Dad is sad because he has to hold onto the memories for both him and his mother now, but fortunately his daughter is only too happy to help him make new memories to share.

This is a warm, hopeful story about a family who sometimes needs to remind their grandmother a little more often than they used to about how much they care. She might not remember any of their names but she will always know how much she is loved.


The perfect partnership! Ever wondered what the creative process for an Author and Illustrator is like?

Miss Jenny’s Classroom
“This book would be a great way to look at ageing as a class. When days such as “100th Day of School” come around there is a focus on what students may look like at age 100 but not what they may be like. In a sensitive way this book really opens the way for discussions about ageing and diseases/conditions that can strike and how they change a person. I would definitely be using this one as part of 100th Day learning, as a parent with my own kids when the time comes, and recommending to other parents. A really beautiful book.” – Click here to read in full


The Mummy Project
“For kids who have relatives suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, this book reassures them that their family is not the only ones facing this ordeal. It encourage kids to remember the memories that they have of their loved ones instead of focusing on the fact that their relative is unable to remember them” –  Click here to view.


Yours magazine
“This heart-warming book about a family coping with dementia shows kids that although Gran might not recall names, she knows she is loved”.


Department of Education and Training – Scan Magazine
“This book gentle picture book is an important resource for both young and old who are, or maybe effected by the proximity of Alzheimer’s Disease.” – Click here to view.


Nayu’s Reading Corner
“I love how warm and cosy the illustrations made me feel in this sweet tale!” – Click here to view.


The Senior Newspaper
“A warm, hopeful story.” –  Click here to view.


Geelong Kids
“The heart-warming story of a family bound by love as they cope with their grandma’s dementia.” – Click here to view.


ABC Newcastle 
“a really sweet book, not sad really  ..quite gentle and simple language, something a parent could easily read with a  child” – Click here to listen.


CBCA’s Reading Time
“Grandma Forgets is a wonderful book for helping children make sense of dementia and memory loss. It uses anecdotes that children can relate to and simple language that makes it very accessible. Themes of love, family and memory are woven throughout the story, and the ending is very touching.” – Click here to read in full.


Sunday Telegraph
“This picture book will help facilitate understanding, and equally important, nurture acceptance and finding a new way to continue to be a family.” – Click here to read in full.


Jnr Book Worm Book Review
“The kids enjoyed this heart-warming story, they thought the new games were fun, and all agreed time with grandparents is fun and special.” – Click here to read in full.


Newcastle Weekly
“A sweet, enduring story.” – Click here to read in full.


Mornington News
“the book has picked up attention globally, including in the UK, since a worldwide ageing population means its focus on dementia is universal.” – Click here to read in full.


50 Something Magazine
“This is a warm, hopeful story about a family who, instead of focusing on the negatives, builds on memories of earlier times and shared experiences. Strategies inserted into the story would benefit any family dealing with dementia.” – Click here to read.


In The Good Books
“Dementia Awareness month is coming up in September, and this book may help to explain to children the feelings that are associated when someone that we love becomes diagnosed with a memory loss illness. This book is a story of hope, and demonstrates the importance of support and care in these situations.”


Voice FM
“Although the book has a sad undertone, it is also very positive as it looks at bright side of each problem. Even though this little girl’s grandma often forgets her name it means it is like meeting someone new each time and it doesn’t matter if she has to keep reminding her grandma that she loves her.”


Rural Women’s Network
“Dealing with dementia is tough. It’s sad and for children, it’s confusing. I found this book to be really uplifting and teach a few coping mechanisms. It shows that even though Grandma may not remember any of their names she will always know how much she is loved “


Pirate Tree Blog
“I give this book five stars! The illustrations were so cute … This is such a nice book.”


Toddler Book Reviews
“Dealing with dementia is tough. It’s sad and for children, it’s confusing. I found this book to be really uplifting and teach a few coping mechanisms. It shows that even though Grandma may not remember any of their names she will always know how much she is loved” – Click here to read in full.


The Bottom Shelf
“the love between them all just oozes from the page setting up the perfect opportunity to let the children tell and draw their own stories of their own special moments with their grandparents, perhaps cementing them even more firmly.. A family story that provides lots of comfort.”


West Weekend
“Dementia is difficult enough for adults to accept, let alone to explain to little ones. But this gorgeous picture book navigates this tricky territory with aplomb”


Kid’s Book Review
“Grandma Forgets is a timeless treasure made especially for children (and their parents) who are trying to come to terms with dementia.”


Mums Delivery
“Grandma Forgets is a lovely uplifting story about a family whose Grandmother is suffering from Dementia. Written in the child’s narrative, it offers an insight into the relationship the child had with the grandmother and how they are keeping the relationship positive and coping with the illness.”


Publisher’s Weekly
“It’s evident that Russell’s heroine knows that diminished memories don’t diminish love in the slightest; families in similar situations should find this a useful resource for framing challenging moments in positive ways.”

Additional information

Book Type

Paperback, Hardback

TODAY Extra


Literacy, Families and Learning, November 2017
“a wonderfully warm and engaging story.” – Interviewed the author. Click here to view.


The Guardian
“Hopefully this book provides a perfect starter for a conversation or offers hope to those who find themselves in that position,” – Click here to read the entire article.


Ultra 106five Hobart Saturday Morning Statewide interview with author and illustrator
“helps the kids, but the adults will read it to the children and there is something in this book for everyone” – Click here to listen


ABC Adelaide
“a really beautiful book, whether you have a rellie with dementia or not” – interview with author and illustrator August 15. Click here to listen

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