Kidlit Review: Nowhere Hair by Sue Glader (e-book)

My mom is undergoing chemotherapy and has lost all of her hair. We’ve been talking to C (who turns 4 this month) about it, showed her a lovely smiling photo of Nanny without her hair, trying to prep her a bit. C seemed totally fine, no big deal.

But Friday I asked C if she’d like to go over for a visit. She replied with a sad trembling pout, fighting off tears: “I don’t want to go see Nanny because I don’t want to see her with her lost hair.”

Talk about breaking my heart…

As any reader would, I immediately looked for a book that might help, and purchased this gem from the Nook store:

Title: Nowhere Hair
Author: Sue Glader
Publisher: Thousand Words Press
Released: April 2011
Source: my personal library

Synopsis (from Amazon):

A vibrantly and poignantly illustrated book that focuses on explaining the loss of hair due to chemotherapy. Explains hats, scarves, wigs, going bald in public, and the idea that what is inside of us is far more important than how we look on the outside.

Nowhere Hair starts off with a young girl searching for her mother’s hair. The text is lighthearted with a touch of humor, but never, never dismissive of the child’s feelings. The book gently addresses common fears and feelings children may have about cancer, reassuring them that they didn’t cause it, can’t catch it, and that how someone looks doesn’t change who they are. It even encourages kids, in a very age-appropriate way, to consider what their loved one may be struggling with, such as exhaustion or confidence.

I love the look and the layout of this e-book. The whimsical font is so pretty, and Edith Buenen’s watercolor illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. (Take a peek and see for yourself!) I recommend viewing the e-book in landscape mode with publisher defaults set “on.”

I actually read the book aloud replacing “Mommy” with “Nanny” and only had to make one or two minor adjustments in the text to make it applicable to our situation. (C is still so young, I was afraid she’d get confused and think that I have cancer). But this story can be read “as is” and used as a starting point for discussions relevant to any family member or friend with cancer.

The page that helped C the most was a small photo of the little girl as a baby. The text reads: “She says it’s like my first hairdo when I was very small.” By Saturday night, C was no longer saying she didn’t want to see her grandmother. When we visited yesterday evening, she was completely fine.

Sue Glader has found the perfect tone to help children and the adults in their lives talk about cancer. I’m thankful to have found Nowhere Hair.

  • As much as people might want to frown upon the rise of e-books, there are some situations where being able to grab a tablet and download a beautiful, specific book like this is so necessary. What a great post!

  • So true, it was nice to be able to get it right away, especially for a sensitive topic like this one.

  • I’m so sorry about your mom, I hope the chemo works! And how awesome that this book helped C through the process. It’s amazing what literature can do for kids sometimes.

    • Thanks so much, Kelly! My mom had surgery which went very well, so the chemo and subsequent radiation treatments are really just to reduce the chances of it coming back (they say less than 5% chance after treatment). She’s doing great, she’s a trooper! 🙂

  • So Sorry to hear about your mother. And thanks for taking time to share this review on Kid Lit Blog Hop. I am so glad that you found this book. It looks like a great read and very empathetic.
    -Reshama
    http://www.stackingbooks.com

  • This is a fabulous book to share with families in the same circumstances. There are so few out there to help kids deal with these issues. Thanks so much for sharing with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cheryl, Hop Hostess

  • I’m so sorry about your Mom. I hope that she is coping well with the chemo treatment. My daughter was also 4 when my mother-in-law was undergoing treatment. She also lost all her hair but chose to wear a wig. She wouldn’t let any of us see her without her wig. Kids can be surprisingly resilient. This sounds like a wonderful book that just did the trick – so glad to hear it. Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    • You’re right, kids really are resilient. I hope your MIL is doing well now. My mom has a wig but it’s already so hot here, I think comfort won out. 😉