Children’s book dealing with dementia issue

Writer Alan Combes during his visit to Northstead School.
Writer Alan Combes during his visit to Northstead School.

A Scarborough writer is tackling the tough subject of dementia head-on in his new book, with a focus on helping children understand the condition.

Alan Combes has come up with a story aimed specifically at teaching primary age children about dementia in the grandparent generation.

The Rocking Horse Diary, published by Fantastic Books, was released just before Christmas.

Mr Combes has already visited Northstead School to read his book and given a talk to Hunmanby Probus Club.

He will be holding a reading and book signing session on Wednesday 27 February at 2pm at Derwent Valley Bridge Community Library.

Mr Combes said: “For all kinds of reason, dementia is at large in society like it never has been before.

“Dementia is no laughing matter and yet any carer will tell you that a sense of humour is vital equipment when you are confronted by some of the bizarre consequences associated with the condition.

“If ever there was a case to say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down then dealing with dementia is it. When I set out to write a children’s book which aimed to teach the young about dementia, a powerfully humorous storyline was essential.

“Getting young readers to identify with the characters and the storyline would surely strengthen the book’s message.

“Teaching young readers about dementia was my principal aim, but conveying that through a credible and enjoyable storyline was essential.

“Mixing comedy with tragedy is not an easy ask but when I ran the tale past youngsters in Class 14 at Northstead school, I was reassured that it could be made to work.

“They laughed out loud at some of Grandad’s antics but on further questioning they were able to describe what Alzheimer’s did to people and how they could be helped.

“Their responses were so encouraging that my publisher agreed to use some of their reviews on the book itself.”

Visit www.fantasticbooksstore.com to buy The Rocking Horse Diary, priced at £2.99.

The publication is also available as an e-book from Amazon.