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PRESS RELEASE: Children's Book Explains Alzheimer's Disease, Wins Mom's Choice Award(R)

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz

“Now that she’s losing her memory, She’s still my Grandma, isn’t she?” In Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, children are introduced to the concept that as grandparents age, they may become different, and even forget important things

Contact: Dawn Sakamoto (808) 534-7170 or dawn (at)

Children’s Book Explains Alzheimer’s Disease, Wins Mom’s Choice Award®

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, a book aimed at helping children and families understand Alzheimer’s and aging grandparents has been named a 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient in the category “Crossing Generations.”

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, by author and educator Frances H. Kakugawa and illustrated by Melissa DeSica, has been has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom’s Choice Awards®. Wordsworth is a Silver Recipient in the prestigious family-friendly award competition. Released by Honolulu-based Watermark Publishing, Wordsworth Dances the Waltz uses the character of Wordsworth, the Hawaiian mouse who loves poetry, to introduce children to the concept that as grandparents age, they may become different, and even forget important things.

Kakugawa has been featured on KHON2 newscasts with Kirk Matthews and in The Honolulu Advertiser for her work helping children and adults to understand Alzheimer’s patients and teaching them to deal with the stresses of having a family member afflicted with the disease through journaling and creative writing. Wordsworth Dances the Waltz has also been praised by the Midwest Book Review as a “superbly written picturebook story” that “should be a part of every elementary school and community library picturebook collection for young children.”

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz is dedicated to author Frances H. Kakugawa’s late mother, Matsue, who was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. Kakugawa was her primary caregiver for five years; during that time she found that poetry and journaling helped to ease the rigorous burden of caregiving. Born and raised in Kapoho on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, Kakugawa is a retired O‘ahu and Big Island public school teacher. She has also taught in classrooms in Michigan and Micronesia and served as a teacher trainer at the University of Hawai‘i. Kakugawa is currently a Sacramento-area resident. Illustrator Melissa DeSica was raised in Kailua, O‘ahu, and received several awards for her artwork. DeSica wrote and illustrated her own children’s book, Gecko and Mosquito (Watermark Publishing, 2007). Sadly, she lost her battle with leukemia a short month before the Mom’s Choice Awards® winners were announced.

The Mom’s Choice Awards® is an annual awards competition that recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media, products and services. Additional information about the Mom’s Choice Awards® can be found at their Web site:

Wordsworth Dances the Waltz is the second book featuring the literary mouse. It has received the Bronze Award in the Best Book Overall category, as well as the award for Best Illustrated Children’s Book from the Northern California Publishers & Authors (NCPA) group. The first Wordsworth title, Wordsworth the Poet, was the recipient of the 2004 Ka Palapala Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Books from the Hawai’i Book Publishers’ Association. In addition to the Wordsworth titles and Mosaic Moon, a resource for caregivers with inspirational poetry reflecting the trials and small triumphs of the family caregiver, as well as a how-to guide to creating poetry support groups, Kakugawa has written an entertaining, insightful memoir of classroom life: Teacher, You Look Like A Horse! Her books are available at bookstores, from online booksellers, or direct from the publisher at Contact Watermark Publishing, 1000 Bishop St., Suite 806, Honolulu, HI 96813; telephone (808) 587-7766; toll-free (866) 900-BOOK; fax (808) 521-3461; e-mail sales (at)

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