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The Hope Tree: Kids Talk about Breast Cancer

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Cuddly animal characters lay it on the line in the opening note of The Hope Tree: Kids Talk About Breast Cancer by Laura Numeroff and Dr. Wendy Harpham, illus. by David McPhail: "Once a week we play games and talk about movies, our families, sports, school, books, and, oh yeah, our moms' cancer." Drawing on actual accounts, the authors create a fictional support group, which addresses 10 topics familiar to families dealing with the disease. Originally published in 1999 with limited distribution, this paper-over-board edition will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. A comforting and compassionate volume. ( Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Cuddly animal characters lay it on the line in the opening note of The Hope Tree: Kids Talk About Breast Cancer by Laura Numeroff and Dr. Wendy Harpham, illus. by David McPhail: "Once a week we play games and talk about movies, our families, sports, school, books, and, oh yeah, our moms' cancer." Drawing on actual accounts, the authors create a fictional support group, which addresses 10 topics familiar to families dealing with the disease. Originally published in 1999 with limited distribution, this paper-over-board edition will benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. A comforting and compassionate volume. ( Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The hardest sickness a child might have to face is the serious illness of a parent. The authors worked together with children to help create this informative book. The writings come from a group of five to twelve year olds who gather to talk about each of their mothers' breast cancer. They write advice pieces like "The day my family found out" or "Family meetings." They write words of encouragement like "Picturing cancer makes it less scary", "You can't catch it," or "Looking for the good things in something bad." All their thoughts, feelings, and ideas are well represented by David McPhail's emotion-filled pictures. Both words and illustrations can open up needed and helpful discussions. 2001, Simon & Schuster,
— Susie Wilde
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A comforting picture book written to help children cope with a mother's breast cancer. The authors have created 10 "testimonials" by animal characters in an imaginary support group, allowing each of them to talk about issues they are facing. The "narrators," all between the ages of 5 and 12, describe how the family reacted to the diagnosis, meeting the doctors and nurses, trying to look for good things among the bad, and dealing with scary emotions, and they offer hints for helping Mom feel better. In the final spread, "Jessie, age 9 1/2," expresses her feelings and creates a hope tree, each leaf representing one wish for the future. The writing styles change with the age of the animal. McPhail's full-page illustrations of the animal children in typical human situations are appealing, and his colors are soft and reassuring. Young children of women with breast cancer, often stifled by the chaos and fear experienced by the family, would greatly benefit from the discussions this book should stimulate and the comfort it provides.-Mary R. Hofmann, Rivera Middle School, Merced, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689845260
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.68 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Numeroff
Laura Numeroff
Any kid who's dealt with an exasperated adult is sure to appreciate Laura Joffe Numeroff's If You Give a... series, where children take on semi-parental roles with unexpected, demanding animal guests. Numeroff is an expert at silly situations, catchy verses and stories that absorb and engage.

Biography

If you give a series-prone author an inch, she'll take a mile -- and fortunately for fans of Laura Numeroff's books, she took her concept and is still running with it. Her aphoristic animal stories show what happens when you give a little something ... and get a big list of follow-up requests.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its companion titles have become favorites not only of parents, but of teachers who like the books' visual elements and domino-effect storylines. Numeroff's other popular titles, What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best and What Grandpas Do Best/What Grandmas Do Best, are loving paeans to activities shared with adults.

A would-be fashion designer who grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in California with a mini-menagerie of pets, Numeroff's stock in trade is her "silly imagination" and her love of animals. Her versatility as a storyteller has been enhanced by the fact that she works with different illustrators, though it also means that all Numeroff titles may not suit the same reader. Her anthropomorphic stories often capitalize on fantasy, but she also has a knack for rhyme, evident in particular in her books Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers and Chimps Don't Wear Glasses.

Numeroff doesn't seem to run out of ideas for ridiculous situations to put people and animals in, nor does she stop celebrating what's special about family relationships. This is what will keep readers coming back to her titles, series-oriented or not.

Good To Know

Numeroff says her parents instilled a love of science and stamp collecting in her as a child, and she has grown into a collector as an adult. Among her collections: stuffed animals, old photographs, autographed children's books, and Halloween masks.

As a teenager, Numeroff was inspired by her sister to become a fashion designer, leading to her attendance at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn for college. "Unfortunately," she says, "I hated everything about the fashion department and I couldn't sew to save my life!" Instead, she took a class on writing and illustrating books for children. Her first effort, about the tallest girl in the third grade, was sold before Numeroff graduated. (Amy for Short is now out of print.)

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laura Joffe Numeroff
    2. Hometown:
      Brentwood, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 14, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.F.A. with honors, Pratt Institute, 1975; attended Parsons College, 1975
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2003

    From the author!

    Hi! The 'kids' in the support group were created by Dr. Harpham and myself! They're all imaginary and not written or taken from children! What a compliment that people think actual kids wrote their pieces! It was an honor be involved in this project! Laura Numeroff

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