Gabby and her brother Brennan love making memories with their grandfather. . .they love to dance, swing, and chase each other around the zoo! One day, Gabby notices that Pop-pop can’t do all the things he used to be able to do. In Brandy Lay’s Walk Like Penguins, we enter Gabby’s story as she learns that her grandfather has ALS, a disease that weakens his muscles and makes it harder to move around. Even so, Gabby and Brennan continue to make fun memories with their Pop-pop, things just look a little different. Now, instead of chasing each other around the zoo, they pretend to walk like the penguins!
In Deborah Bowman’s “Skyla the One-Legged Seagull,” we learn that our seagull protagonist Skyla is very self-conscious ever since she lost her leg in an accident with a sea turtle. She is feeling scared and alone, until she meets a crabby new friend who encourages Skyla to overcome her fears! Your heart will soar with Skyla as she learns that she has many talents and skills and can choose to be the best version of herself every day!
“All death is loss; but not all loss is death.” This sentiment is illustrated beautifully in Shannon Maxwell’s Our Daddy is Invincible! When Alexis and Eric’s father comes home from fighting overseas, he has a serious injury that changes the way the whole family operates. In this book, join the family as they learn ways to change, cope, and find joy in their “new normal!”
Tomie dePaola has brought us some of the greatest children’s books of all time, and Now One Foot, Now the Other is another beautiful selection to add to the collection. At the start of this story, Grandpa Bob is seen teaching baby Bobby how to walk. It’s easy – just put one foot in front of the other. By the end of the story, as Grandpa Bobby develops a physical disability, we see him on the other end of the spectrum as his grandson, Bobby reminds him that it’s only, “one foot, now the other.” This special story is sure to warm hearts, especially for a child who is processing the illness or disability of a loved one.
Children have a wide variety of needs when it comes to communication, and luckily our library is full of resources for children at any developmental level! Arlen Grad Gaines’s I Have a Question about Cancer is specifically designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other special needs understand what it means when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. This inclusive resource includes a written story element, symbol-based language, and a short picture story, perfect for any child.
Hank is a yellow lab who is addicted to hot dogs. At first, they were just a special treat, but they started interfering in his life in ways that weren’t healthy. In Dr. Sarah Bridges book intended to explain substance abuse treatment to children, Hank’s neighborhood furry friends encourage him to go to a Hotdogs Anonymous meeting to begin his recovery. This is an excellent resource to explain treatment and recovery for substance use to children ages 4-8.
When a topic feels too big to talk about with your child, having a book in hand helps to decrease anxiety and ease the experience for you! Cancer Party by Sara Olsher does just that; it explains cancer to a child in a way that is accessible and even fun! This book describes how the cells in our bodies can get confused about what to do, so they throw a “cancer party” that can sometimes get a little out of hand! This book is a great tool to help have a necessary conversation with your child if someone in their world has cancer.