The author, Carola Schmidt, has written such a powerful book for children who may have to face a very scary situation; being told that they have cancer. Her team reached out to me in order to read and review her book and I am happy to do so. Having had to deal with family and friends who have had cancer myself, I was more than happy to read the book. I didn’t understand back then what I do now, and this book, I can see as being a great book to have on any shelf so that there is an easier, softer way to help a children understand at a young age about cancer.
The book follows a young bear named, Scotty, who has to take tests and find out that he sadly has cancer. It follows him when he goes to the hospital and makes friends, as well as when he and his friends, who also has cancer, has to go through whatever treatment their doctors had planned for them. Scotty is so brave and he takes on cancer head on with the help of his doctor, family and friends.
This books takes a hard topic to talk about, cancer, and makes it easier for parents to explain what will happen if they and their children have to come face to face with cancer. And I think this book is great not just for if kids have cancer, but it will make a good read in case the child has to face a parent or loved one who also has cancer. The pictures themselves, the bears, make a visual that is soft and comforting even when children have to face something as horrifying as cancer. Mark O’Dwyer, the photographer, took photos of some cute bears, and placed them in this well-written book. I do believe that Mark took the love that most people have of teddy bears, and used that to help bring his and Carola’s vision alive for this book.
Children are so young and so vulnerable that when a parent has to face telling them that they will have to battle a foreign enemy that is plaguing their body, they could become very scared. Or the parent has to tell their children that they themselves will have to fight a foreign enemy that has taken over their body and will have to be in the hospital for a while, a child may not fully understand what is going on and again will become frightened.
But this book tells and shows children that they are never alone, that it can be scary but they will always have their family with them, and that they will make friends who might also have to deal with cancer who will help them go through whatever treatments their doctor has picked for them. It also shows children what blood cells that are normal look like and what those that are fighting cancer looks like in order to help them better understand what is going on. That to me makes the book 10x better because having some visuals in a book seems to help children, especially younger children, understand things better.
A doctor will do their best to describe what is going on and so will the parents, but I think that this book would be a great help for children also. And I think that it would make a wonderful gift for any family who sadly has to face the harsh reality of someone in their family dealing with cancer.
If you are looking for a book that is gentle and helps you tell a child about cancer, then I do believe that this one would be a good fit. The bears help soften the news and helps the children understand more about what is happening to them or to someone they know and love. Let them know that they are strong by reading them this book and by always encouraging them to never give up and to always stay strong. Children will always need us and we can be there for them, whether by reading a book, or by using our voices, our love, and our hugs. No child should have to face the fear of battling cancer alone.
Below is the link to the book’s Amazon page so that if you would like, you may also purchase the book yourself. If you would like to find out more about the author and photographer and about their other books, please look them up on twitter: @CarolaSchmidt for Carola Schmidt, the author, and @Mawsonsguardian for Mark O’Dwyer, the photographer.
2 thoughts on “When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer”
What a nicely done book on a difficult topic! Cancer runs in both families, and my Step-Father is currently battling lung cancer that is spreading through his body. It is definitely a hard topic for kids to understand, and emotional for adults involved to try to explain over and over in kid terms. I like that kids can refer back to this book and even look at the pictures and remember the story on their own. I would definitely consider purchasing this book. Thanks for the comprehensive review Lacey!
Thank you for reading my book review, Sarah. Cancer is definitely a hard topic to discuss with children but I think this boo is a huge help.