• Helping Kids Rise

Children's Books That Make Cancer a Little Less Scary for Kids


Cancer is a tough subject to talk about with children. Books like these help explain the illness, the treatment, and offer ideas for coping with the disease. Sharing facts at age appropriate levels can help reduce anxiety and fear in children.

Hair For Mama by Kelly A. Tinkham

Illustrated by Amy June Bates

It's family picture time for the Carters, but Mama does not want to be in the photo this year. All of her beautiful hair is gone because of chemotherapy treatments for her cancer, and she doesn't want to be remembered without hair.

Eight-year-old Marcus knows that the picture won't be the same without Mama, so he comes up with a plan to find her some hair and make her better. Even though the plan doesn't work in quite the way Marcus expects, he comes to understand that "hair is nice to have, but not as nice as me having Mama and Mama having me."

This is a story for every family dealing with a serious illness. It is told with a touch of gentle humor in a style that children will readily understand, and the warm and inviting illustrations will bring comfort and hope to young and old alike.

The Great Katie Kate by M. Maitland Deland

Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

The great Katie Kate takes on the Worry Wombat as she teaches a young girl about treating cancer.

When Dr. Demarco explains to Suzy that she might have cancer, the young girl begins to worry. Just then, the Great Katie Kate zooms in to ease Suzy's mind and help her stare down the Worry Wombat.

She takes Suzy on a magical tour through the hospital and explains what cancer is all about and, more important, how it is treated. As Suzy learns more about her condition, she learns to ask questions and even to smile, which makes the Worry Wombat disappear.

This superhero saga provides an entertaining and indispensable tool for parents and medical professionals who are seeking a positive way to set young cancer patients on the road to recovery by helping them deal with their fears. With Katie Kate coming to the rescue, children with cancer have a friend they can trust.

The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies

Illustrated by Kristi Valiant

After Mom and Dad tell Janie and Jeffrey that Mom has Cancer, the whole family goes to the doctor to ask questions.

"Is Mom better yet?" Jeffrey asked. "Not yet," she said. "But we're working very hard to make her better-probably by pumpkin time." That gave Janie an idea...the family plants a vegetable garden.

As the garden grows, Mom's treatment progresses...surgery, chemo, head-shaving and other side effects, radiation...and when it's all done, there are healthy pumpkins and a healthy Mom!

Cancer Hates Kisses by Jessica Reid Sliwerksi

Illustrated by Mika Song

After Mom and Dad tell Janie and Jeffrey that Mom has Cancer, the whole family goes to the doctor to ask questions.

"Is Mom better yet?" Jeffrey asked. "Not yet," she said. "But we're working very hard to make her better-probably by pumpkin time." That gave Janie an idea...the family plants a vegetable garden.

As the garden grows, Mom's treatment progresses...surgery, chemo, head-shaving and other side effects, radiation...and when it's all done, there are healthy pumpkins and a healthy Mom!

Do you know any other children's books that help explain cancer and how to cope with a diagnosis? Tweet to us @HelpingKidsRise so we can add them to our list.

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#childrensbooks #Family #childhoodcancer #cancer

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