Books on: Serious Illness in Family

Books which inform or comfort children who have family members or other loved ones suffering from a serious physical or mental illness.

Mummy's Lump
Author: Gillian Forrest
Illustrator: Sarah Garson
How this book may help: Providing a reassuring and realistic account which may dispel some of the fears young children have about cancer, the treatments which are given for it and how it affects family life.
This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Jack and Elly's mum's diagnosis and treatment... read more

Tags: anxiety, cancer, doctor, health, hospital, illness, mother, operation, serious illness, terminal illness, treatment

No Matter What
Author: Debi Gliori
Illustrator: Debi Gliori
How this book may help: May provide reassurance for an insecure or anxious child that their parents' love for them is unconditional and constant, despite the circumstances. It sensitively reinforces the message that love carries on, even after someone dies.
The key message behind this simple and beautiful book for small children is that the love a parent... read more

Tags: comfort, bereavement, anxiety, death, divorce, emotions, family, father, fears, loss, love, mother, sadness, separation anxiety, serious illness, terminal illness

Author: Jessica Shepherd
How this book may help: A comforting (yet realistic) story of the relationship between a young boy and his Grandma who has dementia. Beautifully illustrated and sensitively written, this would be a great choice for any child who has a loved one who is suffering from dementia or is going into a care home.
Publisher's summary: "Oscar loves Grandma, and their time together is always lots of fun. As she becomes less able to..." read more

Tags: family, grandparent, illness, mental illness, serious illness, terminal illness

Critters Cry Too: Explaining Addiction to Children
Author: Anthony Curcio
Illustrator: Anthony Curcio
How this book may help: This clever and sensitively written and illustrated book should be a great comfort for children who are dealing with parents or other loved ones battling a drug addiction.
The book explains addiction in a way children understand, and describes how addiction can make you... read more

Tags: abuse, anxiety

Get Well Soon
Author: Charlotte Hudson
Illustrator: Mary McQuillan
How this book may help: Allaying fears children may have when a loved one is sick and needs to spend time in hospital.
Wobbly Fang comes down to breakfast one morning and wonders where his mummy is. His Daddy explains... read more

Tags: serious illness, relationships, operation, illness, hospital, family, anxiety, treatment

Why Are You So Sad: A Child's Book About Parental Depression
Author: Beth Andrews
Illustrator: Nicole Wong
How this book may help: This book is written especially for a child who has a parent suffering from depression.
The book explains how depression is a problem with the way you feel, and that mums and dads don't... read more

Tags: mother, mental illness, illness, hospital, father, family, depression, anxiety, sadness

Grandma and Grandpa's Garden
Author: Neil Griffiths
Illustrator: Gabriella Buckingham
How this book may help: A well-written and touching book about the death of a grandparent. This would be a good choice for a child who has lost a loved one.
Grandma and Grandpa loved their beautiful garden and spent many happy hours together tending it.... read more

Tags: bereavement, death, emotions, family, grandparent, illness, loneliness, loss, love, sadness

Gentle Willow
Author: Joyce C Mills
Illustrator: Cary Pillo
How this book may help: This is a book for children with a terminal illness and it also offers support to families, siblings and friends of these children.
Amanda Squirrel and her friend live in the forest and are especially fond of the willow tree. But... read more

Tags: loss, illness, death, bereavement, terminal illness

Let My Colors Out
Author: Courtney Filigenzi
Illustrator: Shennan Persani
How this book may help: This book is published by the American Cancer Society to help young children of cancer patients
When his mother is diagnosed with cancer, a little boy uses colours to express his emotions. He... read more

Tags: anxiety, cancer, emotions, sadness, serious illness

Clouds and Clocks - A Story For Children Who Soil
Author: Matthew Galvin, M.D.
Illustrator: M.S. Weber
Andy lives with his mum and grandad, but when grandad is hospitalised the worry causes Andy to... read more

Tags: anxiety, grandparent

Author: Rebecca Elliott
Illustrator: Rebecca Elliott
How this book may help: Children with siblings with long term illness
Toby's sister is very brave when she goes into hospital and Toby has to learn to be very brave as... read more

Tags: family, hospital, illness, love, serious illness, sibling, sister

My Gran has Parkinson's
Author: Virginia Ironside
Illustrator: Matthew Dodd
How this book may help: This book uses everyday settings and places to explain to young children what Parkinson's is and how it can affect people with the condition. Also available: My Grandad has Parkinsons's, My Mum has Parkinson's and My Dad has Parkinson's.
The gran in the story explains to her grandson what Parkinson's is, how it affects her brain and... read more

Tags: mother, grandparent, father, disability, Parkinson's

Nurse Ted: A Children's Guide to Cancer
Author: Ffion Jones and Kerry Foster-Mitchell
Illustrator: Ffion Jones
How this book may help: This is a very useful text, written in a clear and concise way. It might help a child to understand some of the facts about cancer, its diagnosis and treatment. It could also encourage a child to talk about their emotions if they are experiencing a similar situation.
Nurse Ted works at the hospital, and enjoys helping people to feel better if they are unwell -... read more

Tags: cancer, doctor, family, hair, hospital, illness, injections, medicine, mother, serious illness, terminal illness

Prince Preemie: A Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early
Author: Jewel Kats
Illustrator: Claudia Marie Lenart
How this book may help: This story provides a mildly abstract way of explaining the arrival of a premature baby to a child. It may help the young reader to understand that pregnancies don’t always go to plan, and a very early baby may need a lot of special care in hospital, instead of being able to come straight home. It may also be of interest to a child who was a premature baby him/herself.
We are introduced to a king and queen, a happy royal dog couple, who are expecting their first... read more

Tags: doctor, family, hospital, new baby

Lucy's Picture
Author: Nicola Moon
Illustrator: Alex Ayliffe
Publisher's summary: "Lucy wants to make a picture for her grandpa, but she doesn’t want to use the brightly coloured..." read more

Tags: health, grandparent, disability, blindness, illness

My Little Grandmother Often Forgets
Author: Reeve Lindbergh
Illustrator: Kathryn Brown
Publisher's summary: "Sometimes Tom’s grandmother forgets the way home from the market, or that Tom’s name is Tom and..." read more

Tags: grandparent, mental illness

Mile High Apple Pie
Author: Laura Langston
Illustrator: Lindsey Gardiner
Publisher's summary: "A sensitively written story about a grandmother who is suffering from Alzheimers...." read more

Tags: grandparent, mental illness, serious illness

Mommy Stayed in Bed This Morning: Helping Children Understand Depression
Author: Mary Wenger Weaver
Illustrator: Mary Chambers
Publisher's summary: "This unique book shows the impact of a parent’s struggle with depression through the eyes of a..." read more

Tags: depression, mental illness

My Grampy Can't Walk
Author: Vanita Oelschlager
Illustrator: Robin Hegan and Kristin Blackwood
How this book may help: A positive book which sends out the message that a person's disabilities need not define them. It would be a good choice for a child who has a family member in a wheelchair.
Publisher's summary: "Grampy can't walk anymore because he has multiple sclerosis. But that doesn't slow him down, or his..." read more

Tags: disability, grandparent, wheelchair

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