“Because things are less scary when we understand them better.” A Kids Book About Cancer uses this motto and creates a valuable resource for any child impacted by cancer. As a pediatric cancer survivor, I felt the book on numerous levels. Despite its brevity, it offers many gems and answers all the questions that make cancer confusing and scary for children and adults. It does this by first explaining what cancer is and the science behind it. Then it describes how someone gets it, and treatment options.
I love how the authors bring hard questions like, “Will someone die?” to the forefront. These are answered with succinct and to the point answers. Like all the books in this series, it has minimal illustrations and a bold design which brings attention to the information provided. I believe one of the most important lessons it offers, and that I can relate to through my own experience, is it reassures children that people with cancer are still the same people. They may look different. They may feel different, but they enjoy doing the same things they always did. It encourages children to reach out and spend time with their loved ones and friends. I recommend this book for any family that has to have a discussion about cancer.
I created the crafts and activities below to pair with the book and to provide hands-on and engaging ways for you to discuss cancer with your own children.
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Authors and Illustrators: Dr. Kelsie Storm and Sarah Porter
Publisher: A Kids Book About, Inc.
I was kindly given this book for my honest review, but all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and I receive a small commission from purchases at no cost to you.
Add this book to your collection, or check out the many other books that help families discuss topics such as racism, feminism, anxiety, and much more!
- Cancer is caused by the proliferation of abnormal cells. Start the discussion by learning what a normal cell looks like. To do this construct a cell, label the parts, and learn about the function of each part.
- Next, use soap to show how quickly abnormal cells multiply when a person has cancer. Add a drop of soap to a bowl under a running faucet. Watch how rapidly the bubbles form and how big they get. This provides a loose visual representation of cancer growing in a body.
- One of the most important things doctors recommend when having cancer is maintaining normal routines and relationships with friends and family. I had cancer before social media and instant access to email, so letters were a perfect way to do this. Spend time writing a personalized letter to a friend or family member.
4. Food is a universal gift, but don’t discredit its importance. After spending days eating hospital foods or hours driving to different appointments the last thing you want to do is cook dinner. Having a well-stocked freezer of delicious meals ready to heat or a home-cooked meal waiting for you is a wonderful feeling. To make the gift personalized, decorate a box to carry the meal in. Add little notes or words of encouragement!
5. Cancer ribbons help raise awareness for the many types of cancer. Each color represents a different type. Create your own ribbons and glue onto safety pins to proudly wear!