Welcome to Dovetale Press

Dovetale Press carefully constructs books for the reader who might find standard books difficult because of certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, or stroke. Classic literature has been specially selected and adapted by an applied linguist, Dr Gillian Claridge, and a psychogeriatrician, Dr B. Sally Rimkeit, to enhance the joy of reading for people with cognitive impairment.

We support dementia-friendly communities and access to dementia-friendly books and book groups at public libraries.

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A Dovetale Press Adaptation Sherlock Holmes

This book is a Dovetale Press adaptation of an amusing Sherlock Holmes adventure about a very valuable diamond called the Blue Carbuncle. It is illustrated with the original Stand Magazine artwork of Sidney Paget.

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A Dovetale Press Adaptation of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This 64-paged, large print book is a dementia-friendly adaptation of Alcott’s classic story of the March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. It has been included in Dovetale Press’s series of four adaptations of classic novels and a poetry collection, created for people living with dementia. This book is illustrated by classic artwork by Clara M Burd, Percy Tarrant and Harold Copping.

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A Dovetale Press Adaptation of The Garden Party & The Doll's House by Katherine Mansfield

This 64-page, large print book provides dementia-friendly adaptations of Katherine Mansfield's best loved short stories. The poetic voice of Mansfield is retained and the stories brought to life with illustrations by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Klimt, Macke and Modigliani. It has been included in Dovetale Press’s series of four adaptations of classic novels and a poetry collection, created for people living with dementia. 

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A Dovetale Press Adaptation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tells the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, whose response to Christmas is that anyone who celebrates it should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. In the course of the story, Dickens relates how Scrooge himself has a change of heart after three ghostly visitations. It’s a story that will be familiar to many readers, but one that bears frequent re-telling, with its wonderful description, story-telling, and humour. This book is beautifully illustrated with classic artwork by John Leech, Arthur Rackham, George Alfred Williams and others.

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A Dovetale Press Selection: Poetry for the Restless Heart

This beautiful selection of classic poems is specially chosen to evoke rich discussion in dementia-friendly books groups. It has been included in Dovetale Press’s series of four adaptations of classic novels and a poetry collection, created for people living with dementia. This book is illustrated with artwork by wood-engraver E Mervyn Taylor, NZ's 'national treasure.'

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TV1 broadcast a news feature showing Dovetale Press books in use by a dementia-friendly book group in the Kilbirnie Public Library.  Click on the link to see some people living with dementia reading aloud from the Dovetale Press adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Click here to view.

About Dovetale Press


The following video shows the enjoyment that people living with dementia can have when sharing classic stories.

Again, enjoying a good read!


Testimonial from a Bupa Home Facilitator:

Below are comments made by an activity coordinator at a Bupa Care Home in New Zealand after reading the Dovetale Press adaptation of A Christmas Carol with a group of residents living with dementia. This activity was part of an international study to see if reading improved their quality of life.

She says: The book was edited so that it could be read and discussed in two sessions lasting between 45 – 60 minutes. It had a list of characters at the beginning, and at the end of each chapter there was a summary to remind people what it was all about.

Even though it was substantially shortened, it still held the essence and original language of the story, allowing the emotions and drama to come through to the readers. It also had a rich selection of illustrations to add to the reading experience.

Residents were invited to share the reading out loud of the stories and poems with the facilitators, and it was interesting to hear how different people read a story. I felt I knew who had read a great deal to children and grandchildren!

Reading A Christmas Carol led to comments being made about how times have changed, both in the way people talk to each other, and the differences in society and status. There were lots of reminiscences about childhood and early schooldays, some enjoyable, but some rather more poignant memories.

Once the ice had been broken and the first comment made, there was no problem in each of the residents contributing to the discussions, and certainly, one anecdote led to another very easily. When I asked a question of each respective participant, it was pleasing to note that much thought went into the answer, and I could see that memories were being ‘trawled’ for the best response.

A rather lovely comment was made outside the reading session, where one person said that despite knowing another for quite some time, how much more appreciation was felt for this person following the reading sessions, and how important it was to have had an insight into that person’s life.

At the end of the study, I certainly had the impression that a regular reading and discussion group should be incorporated into our activities calendar. The enjoyment of sharing the reading was very apparent, but I think more importantly, the stimulation of memories and discussions in a friendly group will lead to closer friendships and more meaningful social interactions.

Books from Dovetale Press are used in an international study of reading and dementia and profits from our new series are used for this study. Bupa Care NZ has helped sponsor the study. Click here to view our books

CONTACT US: +64 (27) 410 8708 EMAIL: editor@dovetalepress.com

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