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Oma's Bag

Oma's Bag

Text by Michelle Wang
Illustrated by Sam Nunez
Categories: BIPOC, Asian Literature, Disability Literature, Children's & Young Adult, Children's
Hardcover : 9781551529479, 40 pages, 2024


A gentle and loving book that helps children navigate an Alzheimer's diagnosis in their family

The five Lim children - Jessica, Jocelyn, Jeffrey, Jacob, and Kenzie - are thrilled when their parents tell them that Oma and Opa, their beloved grandparents, are coming to town for a visit. But this time, things seem different - grandmother Oma's cooking doesn't taste the same, and she's started asking the same questions over and over, even while talking about specific moments from her past. Then things around the house begin to go missing: keys, eyeglasses, the TV remote. When the items turn up in the oversized shopping bag that Oma carries around with her, the family comes to the sad realization that she's in the early stages of Alzheimer's. But the journey from the past to new shared experiences reminds the family that Oma is still Oma. And as Jeffrey watches his cherished grandmother dance about the house, he reassures his grandfather, "She's still here."

Accompanied by joyful illustrations, Oma's Bag is a tender and touching book to help children navigate an Alzheimer's diagnosis in their family and learn how to fully embrace their loved ones in new and unexpected ways.

Ages 3 to 8.


A beautiful story for young families with aging loved ones. As a health care professional of over twenty years, I have seen the profound sadness in the journey of those affected by the changes that dementia brings. But through making light of daily occurrences as the disease unfolds, Oma's Bag shares the story of the many meaningful and loving interactions that still happen along the family journey. There are still treasures of Oma's past and present selves to be found, if only we take the time to listen. Like many lessons in life, the wisdom of young children reminds us to connect with these precious moments while we still can. -Lisa Alguire, occupational therapist at Vancouver General Hospital and clinical instructor at University of British Columbia

Books like Oma's Bag serve to reduce the stigma that surrounds memory loss. It discusses dementia in a way that children can understand while honouring the personhood and experiences of their loved one. An absolute pleasure to read. -Dr. Jo-Anne Clarke, medical director of North East Specialized Geriatric Centre at Health Sciences North

This delightful story underscores the importance of accepting the aging process and honouring family ties. Perfect for all ages. -Jennifer Maruno, author of While You Sleep

A truly entertaining, captivating, and authentic work. -Karl Subban, author of The Hockey Skates

A lovely story that captures what it's like to have aging grandparents - the love we feel for them and the love we need to find, even in loss. -Lindsay Mattick, author of Finding Winnie

Tenderly portrayed by author Michelle Wang and warmly illustrated by Sam Nunez, Oma's Bag is a book that should be on every family's reading list and readily available in every doctor's office, clinic site, and hospital waiting room. -Dr. K. Jennifer Ingram, dementia specialist and founder of Kawartha Centre