Saturday, November 21, 2009

Review: Nana, What's Cancer?

Author:  Beverlye Hyman Fead & Tessa Mae Hamermesh
Illustrator:  Shennen Bersani
Review Copy Provided by:  publisher,

About the Book:  Tessa is a 10-year-old girl who wants to understand the confusing world of cancer and then to be able to explain it to other children. She embarks on her quest by asking questions of her Nana, whose answers are designed to both ease children’s fears and provide them with factual information.

My Review:  What a great little book for children who have loved ones with cancer!  More and more children today have loved ones battling cancer, have survived cancer, or who have passed away from cancer, but they don't always understand what their loved one is going through.  This book is a great conversation starter for young ones, or an independent read and then discussion point, for older children.  I'm so glad there is a book that puts cancer into terms that children can understand.

Nana, What's Cancer is a beautifully illustrated book that poses a new question about cancer in each chapter.  They are actually questions that children would have and they are answered in a story like way that is easily understood.  Some of the questions include:  "What causes cancer?", "Why are some cancers worse than others?", "Do animals ever get cancer?", and Do children get cancer too?"  Altogether, there are 12 questions, each answered in 2 or 3 pages of text and pictures.  In the text, there are bold words, which are further explained in the glossary at the back of the book.

The author, is a cancer survivor, and the co-author, her granddaughter was 8 years old when they started writing the book.  Tess, the granddaughter, actually had the idea for the book, because all of her grandparents had cancer and she wanted a book that would explain it to children.  Kudos to her for her idea!!  The illustrator is a cancer survivor also.  The pictures she created for this book are very realistic.  She took actual pictures of Beveryle and Tess and recreated them in her illustrations.  They are just beautiful!  You can see expressions and emotion in each one.

I was very impressed with this book and will be passing it on to my 6 year old grand daughter because we just recently learned that her mawmaw has colon cancer.  I think my step-daughter will be glad to answer some of her questions with this book.   I hope that you will consider purchasing it for someone you know.

Nana, What's Cancer? is put out by The American Cancer Society, but you can also find it at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

This review will be cross-posted at Basil and Spice.


bermudaonion said...

This does sound like a great book. Cancer can be confusing to adults too.

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Ivan said...
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Bingo said...

WOW...good idea and thanks for letting me know about it. It IS hard to tell anyone, let alone kids...

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