Cancer Hates Kisses by Jessica Reid Sliwerski, illustrated by Mika Song

Published by Dial Books

Summary:  The two young narrators in this story have a mom who has been diagnosed with cancer.  In their eyes, Mom is a superhero who “kicks cancer’s butt hard”.  She is strong and brave as she goes through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  She has “warrior wounds” from surgery and looks fierce when she loses her hair. Sometimes she has to rest and sometimes she cries, but the family discovers what cancer hates:  kisses, hugs, laughter, smiles, high fives, dance parties, and love.  Includes notes from cancer specialist Dr. Elisa Port and the author, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when her daughter was a baby.  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  An excellent resource for children with a family member who is dealing with cancer.  The optimistic tone and light-hearted illustrations provide a good balance for the serious subject.  Surgery, chemo, and radiation are not sugarcoated, either in the text or the pictures, but the strong, upbeat tone gives kids reason to hope for the best outcome.

Cons:  Despite the optimistic presentation, it’s hard not to get a lump in your throat when reading this.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

 

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