Trudy Krisher, author
Nadine Bernard Westcott, illustrator
Albert Whitman & Company, Fiction, 1992
Suitable for: Ages 6-10
Themes: Childhood cancer, Hair Loss, Hope, Self-esteem
Opening/Synopsis: “When I was born, I was almost bald. My mother tied a tiny green ribbon to my little puff of fuzz. This was my first hat.” Kathy has a hat for every occasion. Then one day when Kathy turns 9 years old, she finds out she has cancer. Because of her cancer she feels angry, sick and scared. There are some moving lines in the story: “I didn’t like it when they poked me with needles to put the medicine in…I didn’t like it when I felt sick from the medicine…and the worst thing about the medicine was that it made my hair fall out.” Kathy’s mother buys her lots of hats to cover her bald head, but she looses interest in her hats. One day Kathy puts a bear pin on her hat and all her friends begin to give her pins for her hat. They rally behind her on her journey.
Why I like this book: I remember when this book first came out. The author is from my home town and I went to a book signing to get copies for two children who were dealing with cancer and the aftermath of the chemo therapy. I loved the idea of this book because it is so upbeat and encouraging. I knew it would help them feel less alone. Since my original purchase, the book has been picked up by a larger publisher and more text added. Nadine’s illustrations are colorful and support the realistic, but positive story line. Trudy wrote the book for her daughter who had cancer. This is an outstanding book to help students in the classroom understand what a classmate with cancer is going through. I highly recommend it.
Resources: September was National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I discovered a wonderful curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom at the Live Strong at School website. For parents resources visit the National Children’s Cancer Society, Childhood Cancer Lifeline, American Childhood Cancer Organization.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.