October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and most of us know someone who’s been affected by this disease. It impacts the entire family as many of the women battling this disease also have children who are coping and fighting alongside them.
The Goodbye Cancer Garden by Janna Matthies and illustrated by Kristi Valiant brooches this subject that is often difficult to discuss with young children.
This picture book is sensitively and lovingly written by an Author who is also a cancer survivor.
The beautiful illustrations shines a light and an air of positivity that is uplifting in what could have been a sad book.
“Things don’t always go as expected” is the theme throughout the story. It walks us through the announcement of a mother with cancer, the stages of her treatment, the emotions involved and the way in which her family handles it.
As an avid gardener, I loved the co-relation between the various stages of cancer and the seasons of their garden. This book is more realistic and uplifting than sad, it’s about a family doing something positive together while in the midst of a tough situation.
Reading this will help children understand more about cancer but can also help children of families facing other devastating illnesses as well. I was cheering the family on from start to finish, and without giving it away I can say that I was thrilled to discover that there was indeed a happy ending.
One winter day, Mom and Dad tell Janie and Jeffrey that Mom has cancer. Soon the whole family goes to the doctor to ask questions.
“Is Mom better yet?” Jeffrey asks.”Not yet,” the doctor says. “Not yet,” the doctor says, “But we’re working very hard to make her better – probably by pumpkin time.”
That gives Janie an idea: to plant a vegetable garden.
As the garden grows, Moms treatment progresses, and when it’s all done, there are healthy pumpkins and a recovering mom!