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Mae gan Mam Lwmp: Llyfr lluniau sy’n helpu i esbonio - Simone Baldwin [adapt. Rhys Iorwerth]



(suggested) reading age: 6+

(suggested) interest age: 3+

(suggested) age by publisher: 4-8

Illustrations: Caroline Eames-Hughes https://www.simonebaldwin.co.uk/illustrations.html

 

Note:

A paperback picture book to support telling young children that a parent has a tumour or has cancer. The poem is aimed at children aged approximately 4–8 years and can be read together as a supportive way to open discussions, with beautiful illustrations to help children understand. The book includes a description for adults of the author’s own experiences of a brain tumour diagnosis and treatment and how she told her family.  

 




They say that 1 out of every 2 people will get cancer at some point. Surely, then, you know someone, or have heard of someone who has been affected by the disease.


I don't speak from experience, but I can imagine that receiving the news that they’ve 'found a lump' is one of those events that can turn someone's life upside down – almost like a film, where everything fades away and time goes in slow motion. It’s hard to imagine how that would feel without going through the experience yourself. I’ve got two close friends who’ve been affected by brain tumours and I see how it can affect the whole family not just the individual. The issue has just received a lot of attention in the news, when we heard about a 3 year old girl from Wales, who is learning to live with her brain tumour: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cxrz113k3yro


This is certainly not an easy topic to discuss. Adults have enough trouble talking openly about such sensitive and private things, let alone trying to start the conversation with a young child. With this in mind, I think a book can usually be a good starting point.


As we know, books can be very powerful and moving, - a good way to find the right words when they don't come naturally. I'm not for a second saying that giving a book to a child and then sending them off is enough.  Of course it isn’t.  But books are particularly good at being a platform for starting a conversation, especially when the conversation has to be a tough one.



According to the author from Llandudno Junction, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour, few resources exist to help try to explain things like this to a young child, or at the very least, finding them can be difficult. That was one of the main reasons for creating the book. One can assume there are even fewer things like this available in Welsh, so I'm pleased to see the book fills some of that gap. Read about her story here on The Brain Tumour Charity website: https://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/news/charity-news/mummy-has-a-lump-book/


The story takes the form of a poem, decorated with simple, minimalist illustrations. The look and feel of the book is quite simple – just a little bit of text set against a mostly plain, white background. To me, this is much more suitable than having loads of colours and pictures, given the subject matter.


The book is relatively short and doesn't have the information overload you sometimes get, so this is a very suitable book to share with very young children without scaring them. The story itself is short, and gives plenty of scope for any co-reading adult to expand on it should any questions arise. Being that it’s quite vague, the ‘lump’ could refer to several different types of cancer, not just those of the brain. If further questions do come up, which I think they inevitably will, then I think this is a good thing – the book will have achieved it’s core purpose of facilitating a discussion.


This is the kind of conversation no one wants to have to have with their children, but if that day comes, it's nice to know that there are simple, lovely and caring resources like this to support in those hard times. Thank you so much Simone for bringing this book into the world. It will help be a big help to many I'm sure.




 

Publisher: Three Bs Publishing

Released: 2022

Price: £6.99

Fformat: paperback


 

A Welsh language article about the book:




 

ENGLISH VERSION ALSO AVAILABLE:




BOOK ALSO AVAILABLE FOR DADS (ENGLISH ONLY AT PRESENT):




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