Dancing with Memories by Sally Yule

Reviewed by Gail McDonald

Dancing with Memories was written by Sally Yule with this being her inaugural book. Sally is Managing Director of Humble Access an organisation focussed on Executive Coaching, governance and consultancy in Health and Aged Care. The book was written in consultation with Professor Ralph Martins and Maggie Beer with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Maggie Beer Foundation and the Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation.

This book explains to children what is happening to their family member who is suffering dementia and how they can help them – understanding that their family member is still the same person but their brain is just foggy.

The story centres on Lucy who is dancing with memories – sometimes she remembers and sometimes she forgets – her brain has changed but she is still Lucy with a brain and a heart.

Lucy has a special day ahead of her – her granddaughter’s wedding and even though Lucy’s daughter left her a note to remind her that they will pick her up to take her to the wedding, Lucy decides that she will get to the wedding by herself. This leads her on a little adventure as she boards a bus but can’t remember where she has to go, and everything is unfamiliar to her.

Fortunately, she comes across Reuben and Rejy, whom she does remember, sitting outside a café and they guide her back to her home where her daughter is waiting to take her to the wedding.

There are important messages throughout the book, which are aimed at young children, about the importance of a healthy life style and brain health giving three examples of what you can do to look after your brain such as eating healthily – fruit, fish and different coloured vegetables, exercising everyday and getting a good night’s sleep.

A note from Maggie Beer provides some healthy lunch box ideas and recipes to encourage healthy eating.

The illustrations in the book are cheerful and set the tone for seeing Lucy as a joyful and happy person. I would recommend it to families with young children who have a family member who is experiencing dementia to ensure that they recognise that there is still beauty and dignity in that person despite the loss of memory, social skills and physical functioning.

Dancing with Memories


by Sally Yule

Harper Collins

ISBN 978 073334 257 8

$24.99; 32pp

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