This story is about communication and what it takes to initiate the bond not only between the very old and the very young, but between people of any age–to reconnect with the ordinary aspects of life that were ever significant to us.


Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge

Mem Fox – Author
Julie Vivas – Illustrator

Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge overhears his parents discussing the memory loss Miss Nancy Delacourt Cooper, who is a ninety-six year old neighbor who lives next door in the old people’s home. He tries to discover the meaning of “memory” by asking the other residents.  They tell him, respectively, “it’s something warm”,something sad”, “something that makes you laugh”, “something precious as gold”.

So, Wilfred sets out to “find” Miss Nancy’s memory for her.  He gathers his own “memories” to bring to Miss Nancy, his favorite neighbor because she, too has four names.  Each of his treasures, a freshly laid egg for warmth, a toy puppet for laughter, his grandfather’s war medal for sorrow, and his precious football to stimulate warm reminiscences for Miss Nancy Allison Delacourt Cooper and smiles and smiles for the two of them.



A writing activity………………


Have an adult help you write a letter to yourself to be opened in the future.  Here are some ideas of what you might like to share about yourself.

  • What do you enjoy doing?

  • Three things you want your older self to know about you….

  • Describe some people who are important in your life.

  • Your hopes and dreams…..

When you have finished your letter, put it in an envelope.  Address it to yourself with the year it should be opened and put it in a safe place.