Thursday, October 14, 2010

You are the Best Medicine by Julie Aigner Clark

You Are the Best Medicine
Julie Aigner Clark
HarperCollins Childrens
Review copy sent by publisher
This. book. is. beautiful.

There are a few picture books out there to help kids with sick parents (Hair for Mama, for example, is one of our favorites), but nothing we have seen comes close to this one. Mommy explains to her daughter that she has cancer, and what that will mean in the future - she may be tired, she may be scared or sad, her hair may fall out, etc.. These are things children need to know about ahead of time, because things can be much less scary when we know what to expect and why they are happening.

Clark is absolutely brilliant in pairing each of these things with a happy memory Mommy has of her child:
For a while I will have to take medicine that makes me feel bad, and this medicine will make all my hair fall out. I will look different.

But I will laugh when I remember your own sweet little baby head, how round and bald it was, and how warm it was on my lips when I kissed it every day.
The entire tone of this book is one of love and hope. Jana Christy's warm and cheery illustrations, any one of which could be a print on a nursery wall, are the perfect complement. The overall result is a book adults can use to share some potentially sad and scary information with their children in a way that ends with laughter and hugs rather than tears. If you are a librarian, you MUST have this on your shelves! Oh, and ALL of the author's portion of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer Research. We give it a definite

5 out of 5.

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