Tackling tough subjects like cancer with a child is one of the hardest parts of being a parent. How do you explain something that you’re having difficulty coming to grips with yourself? When it comes time to talk about cancer with your children, especially if the disease strikes your own home and family, you need all of the support and resources you can muster. That’s where this next list of books comes in. Below you’ll find an immensely helpful selection of books that address this disease in a way that children can comprehend. Each book deals with the subject in its own way, and tackles the topic from different perspectives.
- What Is Cancer Anyway?: Explaining Cancer to Children of All Ages – by Karen L. Carney – From the Barclay and Eve Children’s Book Series, this story is told through the eyes of those characters. The accompanying illustrations help to tell a touching yet informative narrative about the effects of cancer without being preachy or too technical. Children will be able to relate to the perspectives of Barclay and Eve.
- Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings – by Ellen McVicker – This is a very moving and wonderfully written book about dealing with a parent’s cancer diagnosis. Lovely illustrations and a powerfully moving story help convey a message that is simply too hard to grasp without the aid of a book like this one. A true gem of a book.
- Mom Has Cancer – by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos – From the Let’s Talk About It Books series, this is a picture book written for preschool through Grade 2. The overall tone of the book is brighter, which is exemplified by the accompanying water-color artwork, yet the message still resonates well with children of the appropriate age. Along with the encouraging tale of a mom tackling a grave illness is the message of the mother in general as a strong and courageous figure.
- Can I Still Kiss You?: Answering Your Children’s Questions About Cancer – by Neil Russell – Written by a parent who himself had to speak with his children about his cancer, Can I Still Kiss You? reads as a journal of his and his family’s ordeal. Each chapter addresses different stages in his struggle, from diagnosis to treatment, and explains every aspect of the experience in a way that kids can understand and learn from.
- Nowhere Hair – by Sue Glader – This is a charming rhyming book about a Mom with cancer and her chemo treatment. A young girl is convinced, after seeing her Mom’s bald head, that her hair must be somewhere else around the house. In her quest to uncover the missing hair, she discovers other things of far greater value and importance about her mother, and about life.
While broaching the subject of cancer with your kids is never a fun or easy thing to do, it can be made a little easier with the aid of these books, which are geared specifically towards helping children understand this disease.