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The Forgettery

Rachel Ip, ill. Laura Hughes
Age 5-7

One day Amelia (who is also quite forgetful) and her granny (who is very forgetful) are exploring in the woods when they find ‘The Forgettery’, a magical place where you can find anything you have ever forgotten.

Full of warmth and love, this is a delightful picturebook about making and treasuring memories. It also touches on the topic of dementia, a ‘live’ issue for so many families. The inventiveness of the storytelling is perfectly matched by the illustrations creating the magical world of the Forgettery. They provide lots to pore over, including the paper butterflies with Granny’s forgotten memories, and the fabulous transport and communication systems within the Forgettery.

The advice for making memories is a lovely addition, recognising that memories can be built from the simplest of things and that grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy playing together. It might prompt the making of memory books or memory butterflies or the building of memories with family members.  

Watch the author and illustrator talk about the story here:


Share the story

Read aloud
Before you begin reading the story to your child look at the cover and talk about the clues to what the story might be about. Read the story aloud to your child.

Re read the story
When you share the book again look closely at the illustrations together and talk about what you spot. Children are likely to spot even more details when they return to the book, for example the bottle in which Granny puts her most special memories.

Talk about the book
There is lots to talk about with this story including:- the things granny had forgotten
– what you can see in the Forgettery
– your favourite pages in the book and why you like them
– the things Granny and Amelia play together at the end of the story
– your own special memories
– the kinds of things you forget or find hard to remember
– the memory making advice at the end of the story, what would you add to the list?

Things to make and do

Look through old photo albums together
Dig out old photos or special objects and talk about the memories they evoke.

Make a memory book
Give your child a scrap book or photo album to make their own memory book. You could collect a few photos together to stick in or draw pictures

Make a memory box
Find an old cardboard box with a lid such as a shoe box. Decorate the outside. Help your child to find some special things which bring back treasured memories to put inside – such as photos, small toys souvenirs or drawings.

Make paper butterflies of special memories
Help your child to make paper memory butterflies. Look at Laura Hughes, the illustrator’s instructions for how to make paper memory butterflies towards the end of this video.

Plan a special day
Plan to spend a special day with your child or for your child to spend a day with an older member of the family (for example a grandparent). Think about what you/they might do together – this can be something quite simple – for example playing games in the park, making a den or making cakes. See the memory making advice in the book for more ideas.

Find out More

Find out more about author Rachel Ip Children’s Author | Rachel Ip Author

Find out more about illustrator Laura Hughes Laura Hughes – Illustration (