Inspired by the loss of her mother-in-law to cancer, a local mum Kate Worrall has created a new children’s book ‘Little Reminders’ to help families keep memories alive after a loved one has died. Kate originally created the book for her son to become familiar with his grandmother who died before he was born.
This book is designed to support families through their grief and loss by keeping their precious memories alive after the loss of a loved one. It could be a grandparent, parent, sibling, friend or even pet.
Little Reminders is an illustrated storybook that has been specifically designed to allow families to customise it with photos of their loved ones who have passed.
Kids can choose their favourite photos to the book to make it into a treasured keepsake with memories of their loved ones. There’s also space for them to write in a few words alongside the photos.
It’s a beautiful tribute to a loved one who has died and provides an opportunity to remember them.
Similar to Kate’s son, my daughter never got the chance to know her grandmother. My mother-in-law passed away when my daughter (now age 10) was 18 months old so she has no memories of her grandmother apart from what we share with her. Although we share stories of Colleen and how much she would have loved her, Little Reminders helps in preserving precious memories of her beloved grandmother.
Little Reminders is available for sale through the website www.KateWorrall.com. Newy locals can also find it in-store at Harry Hartog Kotara.
Thanks to Kate Worrall for taking the time to answer questions about Little Reminders. She provides some background about the project as well as what’s next.
What is the Little Reminder photo storybook?
‘Little Reminders’ is a children’s book about a loved one who has passed away. The illustrated book has a sweet short story of love along with space for personalisation with photos of your loved one. It is designed to provide comfort and support for a family suffering from grief. It is an ideal tool for helping children to process the loss of an important relative or friend.
Why did you create it?
I originally created the book for my son to become familiar with my Mother-In-Law (his ‘Ma Debbie’) who had died before he was born. It was really important to us that he knew who she was, and understood how much she would have loved him.
The book turned out to be equally helpful for my husband who could use it as a conversation starter with the kids for what could otherwise have been a difficult topic. After seeing how it benefitted our family I decided to publish the book in the hope it would help other families who have experienced loss.
How do families use this book?
Families can personalise this book by adding the name and 10 photos of their loved one. We read the book each year on my Mother-In-Law’s birthday and the anniversary of her passing. The boys also regularly choose it to read at other times when they want to ask questions about her or feel close to her.
For young children who have lost a loved one that they knew, it can be difficult to find ways for them to be involved and engaged in the grieving process. A lot of my research about how to support children suggested talking openly with them, giving them a role or activity and helping them to reflect on positive memories of the person.
Choosing the photos and sticking them into the book provides a hands on activity for kids to get a sense of involvement and control during a difficult time. Reading the book facilitates ongoing discussion and reflection in a way that is non-confrontational for parents, who are often dealing with their own grief simultaneously.
What age group is this book best suited for?
The book is brightly illustrated to appeal to young children from toddlers through to primary school aged children, however often the parents get just as much out of the book as the kids!
You also have a Little Reminders journal. How can kids use this?
This guided journal and colouring book is designed for primary school aged children to explore feelings, capture memories and build resilience in the face of grief.
Each page commences with a prompt or sentence starter and includes ample blank unlined space to respond with written words, pictures, drawings, collages, photos, doodling – whatever! There are also 9 beautiful illustrations to colour in.
What is the custom design option of the book?
This is a premium photo book option where the family submit ten digital photos and I custom print a bespoke copy with the photos & your loved ones name printed directly into the book. The premium option is also a larger size and includes thicker interior pages.
How do people order a book?
Visit our website www.KateWorrall.com. $34.99 including free delivery. Newy locals can also find it in-store at Harry Hartog Kotara.
Are you planning additional books or products for Little Reminders?
Yes! Our next photo storybook is going to be aimed at supporting kids who have a parent or other loved one who is temporarily absent. For example if they have to travel for work, are deployed with the military or even in prison. The idea is to create something to help make the experience of being separated a little easier. Join our mailing list or follow us @myphotostorybooks to find out more.
You’ve also consider the environmental aspect of printing. What steps are you taking to reduce your impact and why is this important to you?
Our books are aimed at improving the wellbeing of our readers, and nature is a big contributor to that. We have taken a few steps to minimise the impact of our books on the environment. One Tree Planted – For every 10 books sold, we will plant a tree through our partnership with One Tree Planted. We print on demand – our books are printed and shipped as they are ordered. This ensures there is zero wasted ink/paper/transport. For shipping, we use 100% recyclable rigid cardboard mailers.
Finally, as a Newcastle local, what are some of your favourite spots to hang out with your family?
Blackbutt Reserve is at the end of our street and with two young boys, there is always something to entertain them there. It really has it all – visiting the animals, climbing in the playgrounds, exploring the bush, scooping for bugs in the creek, kicking a ball in the open spaces. It is a true Newcastle treasure!
In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.