Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Together Stories Series

By Trish Dearn, illustrated by Lonica Lee
Children’s Cancer Centre Foundation, Richmond Victoria, 2013. ISBN 9780992334260 (paperback)

Infant school and primary school children who are living with childhood cancer will find “the Together stories” very engaging. The stories may help them to prepare for hospital, life experiences as well as think about ways of coping and building strength through difficult circumstances.

The books are written with made-up characters, from a child’s viewpoint. The familiar language used is what you might find in an Australian home, school or children’s hospital. Trish Dearn draws on her experience as a parent of Charlotte, who journeyed through leukaemia treatment to become a happy healthy girl.
Each book taps into different parts of a child’s cancer journey and feelings are expressed through the challenges. The books focus on adapting, coping and empowering through changes in a child’s health from diagnosis, hospital life and returning after treatment to home, school and community life.

Children will want to read each book cover to cover, finding easy-to-read font and colourful, expressive illustrations. The books are similar in formatting to what you might find in a school reader. They have a practical gloss cover for easy wiping.

The Together stories are simple to read and yet strong in communicating some of the social and emotional hurdles children with childhood cancer face.

The books may be borrowed from the AWCH library, to find out more about each book in the series visit the following links:
Review by: 
Jillian Rattray
AWCH Librarian
July 2014 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Maisy goes to hospital

By Lucy Cousins
Walker books, 2007. A Maisy first experiences book. ISBN 9781406313260

Maisy felt strange to be away from home and missed her friends

If you and your pre-schooler love Maisy this delightful book will not disappoint with the usual bright, cheery illustrations and thoughtful words, both by Lucy Cousins.

The book even has glittery lettering on the cover, pretty! 

It’s not hard to see why Maisy is such a popular mouse. Maisy goes to hospital has a gentle sense of humour typical of Maisy books. It is one in the series: A Maisy first experiences book, designed to introduce young children to unfamiliar experiences. 

Pre-school children will enjoy the mostly happy expressions and comforting touches. Maisy has her favourite Panda bear with her, also wearing fancy pyjamas and smiling when Maisy feels so strange. Nurse Comfort is close at hand and friendship with Dotty helps make the experience so much more normal. Balloons and flowers and visiting friends help readers think about a warm, friendly hospital environment, Maisy is nolonger  fearful. 

Cousins helps children learn about hospital through the familiarity of Maisy.

Maisy goes to hospital along with other books preparing children for hospital, are available for loan from the AWCH Library. To find out more about Maisy’s experience in hospital visit the AWCH library at:

Jillian Rattray
Association for the Wellbeing of Children in Healthcare (AWCH)