13 books to help parents and kids discuss tough health topics

13 books to help parents and kids discuss tough health topics

Some conditions and diseases can be hard for children to understand. Our Experts have put together a list of books to make talking about certain health topics a little easier.

 

jackHi My Name is Jack
by Christina Beall-Sullivan

Recommended by Nate Seroski, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book focuses on siblings of children who have a chronic illness and addresses the range of emotions that siblings feel when their brother or sister is sick.

 

frank

Franklin Goes to the Hospital 
by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark

Recommended by Nate Seroski, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book tells the story of when Franklin breaks his shell and has to go to the hospital. It is a good resource as it covers many of the thoughts, feelings, and experiences kids have when they come for surgery.

 

goofy

Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day
by Disney and Lilly Diabetes

Recommended by Heather McKean, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book shows Coco, who has type 1 diabetes, going to a birthday party and still having a slice of cake like everyone else. It normalizes the diagnosis of diabetes and is an easy read for children.

 

marrow

Me and My Marrow: a kid’s guide to bone marrow transplants
by Karen Crowe

Recommended by Maria Restivo, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book explains bone marrow transplants to children who will be receiving one. A child learns what a transplant is, how it is done, what treatment feels like and ways to cope during difficult times.

 

Chemo2

Chemo to the Rescue!
by Mary Brent and Caitlin Knutsson

Recommended by Maria Restivo, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book educates about the diagnosis of leukemia specifically and explains blood cells, hair loss, chemotherapy and having blood tests.

 

life2

Lifetimes: the beautiful way to explain death to children
by Brian Mellonie

Recommended by: Dr. Dave Lysecki and Lisa Skradski, Quality of Life and Advanced Care Team, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book is written at a level that children can understand – birds, bees, squirrels, trees – each has its own lifespan, but none is more or less alive, nor more or less important than another. It reinforces the critical message that length of life does not determine value of life.

 

grief

How I Feel: a colouring book for grieving children
by Alan Wolfelt

Recommended by Heidi Tigchelaar, social worker, women’s reproductive health & newborn care

This colouring book for young children explores the feelings grieving children tend to experience. The simple text that accompanies the drawings provides children words to express their feelings.

 

baby2We Were Gonna Have a Baby but We Had an Angel Instead
by Pat Schwiebert

Recommended by Heidi Tigchelaar, social worker, women’s reproductive health & newborn care

This book is told from a young child’s perspective and can help children process their grief over the loss of a young sibling.

 

teenThe Mindful Teen
by Dzung X. Vo

Recommended by Cheryl Webb, clinical coordinator, eating disorder program, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book speaks directly to teens about how to understand the stress in their lives and provides them with the tools to develop a lifetime of resiliency.

 

hairloss

There’s So Much More to Wear Than Hair
by Sarah Kravchuk

Recommended by Nancy Stefin, child life specialist, McMaster Children’s Hospital

This book uses kid friendly humour and positivity to approach the difficult topic of hair loss.

 

zoom

Zoom!
by Robert Munsch

Recommended by the Family Resource Centre, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

This book is great for children who have a disability and require the use of a wheelchair. It’s empowering and makes the idea of using a wheelchair fun.

 

smart2Smart but Scattered
by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

Recommended by the Family Resource Centre, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

This book helps parents understand how to help their child who is having issues with everyday fundamental tasks such as staying focused and organized, following instructions and controlling emotions.

 

brainWhat to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck
by Dawn Huebner

Recommended by the Family Resource Centre, Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

This book is a guide to overcoming OCD for kids. It provides strategies for kids and parents to deal with obsessive compulsive behaviours.

 

The Family Resource Centre at Ron Joyce Children's Health Centre
The Family Resource Centre at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

You can find some of these books and many others at the Family Resource Centre at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. Our librarian can help you find books geared towards both kids and parents on a number of topics.