In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
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Quotes from Cancer Surviviors
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children

"The book was a good 101 on cancer for children. I don't think they need to know the details of how sick people get."

- D.C.
Cancer Survivor

"It's enough information for a younger child without getting too involved or using medical terms. It's just basic knowledge which is all you ever want to give them."

- Carolyn Huffman
Breast Cancer Survivor

 
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
Highlights
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children  

In Mommy's Garden: A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children received awards from the American Public Health Association, the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, and the National Health Information Awards.

Cancer survivors played an instrumental role in helping develop the book. In addition to researching psychosocial issues young children of parents with cancer face and what's developmentally appropriate information to share, the author interviewed survivors about their experiences talking about their diagnosis with children in their family, what questions were asked, and if a book like In Mommy's Garden would have been useful. Survivors also participated in focus groups after reading the book to their loved ones. They identified the following strengths:

  • Content
  • In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
    • The book is appropriate in length and amount of information for young children
    • The analogy that correlates cancer with weeds in a garden makes the concept of how cancer and treatments impact the body understandable
    • It has a positive ending and optimistic tone. There's no mention or inference of death and does not allude to the concept that cancer means you won't survive
    • It helps stimulate conversation and gives you the words when you don't know where to start.
    • Common concerns of children are addressed, like if cancer is contagious
    • It doesn't just have to be used by parents. It can be used by any family member, health professionals, child-life specialists, social workers, teachers, librarians, and other trusted adults.
       
  • Unique illustrations use bright, beautiful colors
    • Faceless characters without expressions help people feel however they want, rather than reflect the feeling of a character
    • The book can be used by anyone and does not target any one racial or ethnic group, which is important because there is lack of educational resources for people of color.

All of the cancer survivors said this book would have been a useful tool for them upon their initial diagnosis when they had to explain their children or other family members that they had cancer. One woman said, "I tried to get my hands on anything and everything to read, and I did for myself. But I couldn't find anything for her [referencing 5 year old daughter] when I was diagnosed, so yes, absolutely. It would have been extremely useful."

 
In Mommy's Garden - A Book to Help Explain Cancer to Young Children
 

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