If you are looking for an adult book on dementia, Sizzling Bacon by A.F. Scott is not for you. However, if you are searching for a sweet, non-threatening, fantastical story about dementia from the point of view of a child, this one is recommended for those age 10 years and younger in your life. We discovered the book from a Twitter post and could not help but be drawn to it from its very intriguing title. What does “bacon” have to do with dementia, you ask? Let us give you a preview of how it all fits together in a fun and heart-warming way.
Sizzling Bacon is the story of an adventure to the park had by young Evie and her “mummy” (who readers later find out has early onset, vascular dementia). The book opens with Evie feeling the incredible weight of her bed blankets on top of her, which, at first, she thinks is the ugly, evil green monster (the persona she giver her mother’s dementia). Upon closer examination, Evie realizes that the weight of the blanket is from all of the dinner dishes being piled on top of her blanket by her mother’s misplacement of them on her bed instead of in the kitchen cupboard. There are actually quite a few of these incidents of misplacements by Evie’s mummy, which Evie understands to be part of a special game that she and her mummy play.
“Can we start the game now? Evie loved this game. Evie and Evie’s mummy played it often and it was always fun because Evie’s mummy was so good at it. Evie’s mummy always found the most unusual, exciting places for Evie to hide things for Evie to find.”
Once Evie finds her mother’s missing boot, which according to Evie is necessary before they can leave the house to avoid her mummy being laughed at, then the mother and daughter pair head to the park. This is where the true adventure begins with characters of Evie’s imagination brought to life.
Through the characters of Mr. Snowman, a Sizzling bacon strip, a magical snowflake Twinkie, and a green monster, some basic information about dementia, which can be understood by a young child, is shared. Evie also creates through her imaginative play at the park, a fantasy world where her mother’s dementia (the green monster) is defeated.
“Twinkie felt really sad for Evie’s mummy so he called all the other snowflakes together and announced that they had a big, evil beast called dementia to slay.”
The story has a surprise ending that is appropriate for a young reader. And, the character Sizzling bacon, which is also a favorite food of Evie’s that her mummy used to cook before her dementia, remains a main theme throughout the book–perhaps a symbol that moments of joy carry on despite dementia’s progression?!
Described by other reviewers as “one of the most heartfelt and kindest short stories I’ve read” and a “loving , informative, educational story for children,” Sizzling Bacon is written by a mother of five children who has first-hand experience of the lack of understanding about dementia. A.F. Scott was diagnosed with vascular brain lesions, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia and decided to write a children’s book to raise awareness.
As a caregiver of a person with dementia or someone battling with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may wish to help explain to the young children in your life, what this “ugly, evil green monster” is doing to those they love. A.F. Scott’s Sizzling Bacon can certainly help. It is also a really touching and playful short story.