Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket

September 2015 is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Daniel and Starry Blanket 51fb4nqSz3L__SX384_BO1,204,203,200_Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket: A Story of Illness and Sibling Love

Sally Loughridge, Author and Illustrator

Maine Authors Publishing, Fiction, Aug. 1, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 5-8, Parents

Themes: Children with a seriously ill sibling, Cancer, Exploring feelings, Jealousy

Opening: “Just before Daniel was born, his grandmother made him a soft blanket that danced with brilliant stars. His mother wrapped him in the blanket when they brought him home from the hospital. It was just right, with room to grow. His father called it Daniel’s Starry Night Blanket.”

Synopsis: Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket is a story about a boy whose older sister, Kate, is diagnosed with cancer. He is sad and worried that Kate is so sick and not interested in playing with him anymore. His parents include him in the hospital visits for Kate’s chemotherapy, but he soon tires of going. Daniel is upset that his parents cook Kate’s favorite foods. When Kate receives cards and gifts, Daniel is angry that he doesn’t receive anything. His Dad takes Daniel to a ball game and spends “special” time with him. Daniel begins to find quiet projects that he and Kate can do together. Daniel wants to do something special for Kate and comes up with a secret plan and asks his grandmother to help.

Why I like this book:

Sally Loughridge has written a compassionate and sensitive story for families who are dealing with a child diagnosed with cancer and the challenges for siblings. Daniel is representative of all siblings dealing with confusing feelings of sadness, anger, fear and jealousy. For children like Daniel, it can be a roller coaster ride.

Daniel has the support of his parents and grandmother to help guide his journey through the highs and lows of a Kate’s cancer treatments. With their support Daniel is able to participate more fully in Kate’s care. It is significant when Daniel wants to share his special blanket with his sister forever– a signal of his own progress, growth and maturity. He asks his grandmother to help with his secret plan for Kate. I won’t spoil the secret. The soft watercolor illustrations are expressive, emotive and compliment the story. I highly recommend this book for families who have a seriously ill child.

Resources: The book can be used in many ways to support young children during a siblings illness. It is a valuable resource for parents, therapists and counselors working with children and families. Loughridge includes two pages of suggestions and activities about ways to use Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket. Visit Sally Loughridge at her website.

Awards: Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket has received the  2016 Best Book Awards Finalist (Children’s Picture Books Soft Cover Fiction), Gold Medal Winner in the 2016 Literary Classics International Book Awards for the Picture Book/Preschool Category. It was also a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in two Categories, Children’s Books 0 to 5 and Children’s Books 6 and Up. The book was awarded the 2015 Gold Medal in the Lifestyle Emotions and Feelings Category of the Gelett Burgess Book Awards program and an Honorable Mention in the Children’s Books Category of the 2015 New England Book Festival.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

48 thoughts on “Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket

  1. I didn’t know Maine Authors Publishing. So much talent abides in that state. This sounds a gem for families or communities where there are siblings of seriously sick brothers and sisters. Love the cover.

  2. Sounds like a sweet book. One of our IN-SCBWI members also wrote one called The Cancer Garden (I’m having a memory lapse and can’t remember her last name; her first name is Janna). You might like that one, too. 🙂

    • Yes you can. This is a good book to share. But I’ve also reviewed other books on cancer (PB, MG and YA.) Other favorite PBs are: The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies, Kathy’s Hats by Trudy Krisher. MG books: Upside Down and Backwards by by Julie Greves and Katy Tenhulzen. You can click on my cancer in my sidebar and see what I’ve reviewed.

    • I’m so sorry for you loss. I’m pleased you liked it. There is a beautiful book called The Goodbye Cancer Garden about a mother who has cancer and how her children deal with it. But it has a happy ending. You might want to check out some of my good grief books.

  3. The sibling is so often overlooked when there is illness in the family and then feels guilty for having resentful, jealous thoughts, which only makes maters worse. Great that this subject has been tackled.

  4. Dear Patricia,

    Thank you for your review and posting on my new book. I’m sure it will help spread the word of its availability to those families it can help. By the way, I enjoy all your thoughtful reviews. Sincerely, Sally

  5. After just returning from two weeks painting on Monhegan Island off Maine’s MidCoast, I was very pleased to see Patricia Tilton’s review of my book, “Daniel and His Starry Night Blanket.” There are so many families impacted by catastrophic pediatric illnesses, cancer but one among them. Siblings both young and old have their own reactions against the background of their ongoing development and unique personalities. Quite a juggling challenge for parents attending to both sick and well children! My hat is off to all these courageous families. I hope my book proves a valuable resource to those with very young kids.

  6. Many years ago when I was doing my pediatric rotation during nurse’s training I was assigned a little boy who had bilateral Wilms tumor. He had a twin brother and another young sibling. His parents were devastated and as I read Sally’s book I couldn’t help but think how helpful it would have been to them. Her sensitive and gentle approach to dealing with serious illness would have given them comfort and the understanding to cope with the challenges surrounding such a difficult situation. It is a beautiful book.

  7. Pingback: Books About Cancer for Kids and Teens

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