Book Review: MOSAIC MOON

Unique caregivers book helps ease the burden of Alzheimer’s

Mosaic Moon - Generations Magazine - June - July 2012Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry is a unique resource for caregivers by noted poet and educator Frances H. Kakugawa. Mosaic Moon, which grew out of poetry workshops conducted by the author for the Alzheimer’s Association Aloha Chapter, is both an extraordinary collection of poems and a how-to guide to help individuals and groups create their own poetry support groups.

Besides offering hands-on writing and organizational tools, the book includes inspirational poetry by the author and five graduates of her workshops, reflecting both the trials and small triumphs of caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. Mosaic Moon traces the lives of six Alzheimer’s patients, their struggles with the disease and their evolving relationships with their caregivers – the poets Kakugawa, Irene Asato, Lynne Halevi, Lani Kaaihue, Jody Mishan and Setsuko Yoshida.

This culturally diverse group of caregivers — women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s – spans the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist faiths and a rainbow of ethnicities: Japanese and Hawaiian to Russian and Polish among them. In Mosaic Moon, they learn to express their hope, helplessness, humor and despair, as they strive to recapture the dignity and human spirit often lost amid the day-to-day rigors of caregiving.

Kakugawa, an award-winning author, has also written two children’s books that help keiki cope with aging elders – Wordsworth the Poet and Wordsworth Dances the Waltz. Both books feature a little Hawaiian mouse named Wordsworth who loves poetry and finds comfort in writing poems that express his confusion over the changes in his beloved grandparent and the fond memories he has of her more vibrant days.

All three books are available in bookstores, from or directly from the publisher at Or call toll-free at 1-866-900-BOOK. $16.95, softcover.

A portion of the book’s proceeds supports research for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

“I’m better prepared to care for my mother after reading your book, knowing what you went through truly helps. You’ve prepared me for caregiving.”

~ Kay Yonemori (Hilo, Hawai‘i)


“Years from now when Alzheimer’s is finally conquered, this book will stand as a testament to bravery and to love.”

~ Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Woman Warrior (Berkeley, California)


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