Matthew Asner, President/CEO, The Ed Asner Family Center and Navah Paskowitz-Asner, Founder and Executive Director, The Ed Asner Family Center
With three children on the Autism Spectrum, we know all too well how complicated it is when things occur that mess with the usual routine. Sometimes, even seemingly simple changes can be hard to contend with; but throw in something like a loved one being diagnosed with cancer, and our world can become quite complicated. Whether or not the loved one is part of your child's everyday experience, emotions around illness are complicated, difficult to explain and can certainly interfere with the child's daily routine. We can think of several occasions during which we could have really used a book like this! It is a true gift to parents, caregivers and children who are faced with this very difficult subject.
Jodie Fishman, cancer survivor, mother to three young children, and Senior Writer at ZERO TO THREE
Cancer remains confusing even to me-and I've survived it. Polsky and Gaines have, seemingly effortlessly, created one of the most straight-forward, useful, honest tools for talking to young children (with or without special needs) about a complex and scary topic. This book is a gift for families going through a difficult time-providing easy-to-understand information for children and the comfort that comes with having answers. I can't recommend this resource enough for anyone looking to explain cancer to children, and I can't wait to see what the next book is in this invaluable series.
As an oncologist for over 20 years, I know that sometimes one of the most challenging things for cancer patients is talking about their illness with children, grandchildren or other young family members or friends. As a young child and teen, my mother was treated for and ultimately died from cancer, profoundly affecting me and my passion for caring for the children of cancer patients. It's an incredibly complicated subject to begin with, with so many variables in experience and outcome. Coupled with one's own feelings of uncertainty, fear, and managing day to day physical challenges, explaining to children what is happening can be especially trying. Gaines and Polsky have written a book that will most certainly alleviate one significant stressor as a family navigates cancer. Without assigning the cancer to a particular person or even part of the body, the authors have created a resource that's part story and part roadmap. Told from a child's perspective that is truly inclusive of learning need, gender and race, any child can see themselves as the narrator of the story. This is a one-of-a-kind book that I look forward to sharing with many of my patients and colleagues.