Our Support Line is open every weekday from 9am-7pm (AEST). Call us on 1800 592 410 or contact us
Your browser is not supported by this website, please consider browsing the site in a modern browser.
How books can help children with their emotions

Resources

How books can help children with their emotions

Mum of two, Fiona, shares how books became a useful resource for her family to talk about childhood cancer throughout her daughter’s diagnosis and treatment.

When cancer happens in a child’s life, it can be hard to explain and even harder to talk about the big feelings that come out of nowhere. Each child will react in their own way: 

  • Young children with cancer may be scared, angry or confused 
  • Older children and teenagers with cancer may be worried how cancer might affect their schooling or friendships
  • Siblings may feel worried, jealous, angry, or may wonder if they are going to get cancer too
  • School friends or friends from after school activities may be confused why they don’t see their friend anymore, or why they look different or need to be treated differently

If you want to help the children you care about talk about their big feelings or want to learn a child friendly approach to talking to others about cancer, books are a valuable resource you can lean on.  

Fiona, whose 14-month-old daughter Matilda was diagnosed with Leukaemia, found the Redkite Book Club helped her, her husband Will, and their then three-year-old Maisie, to better understand cancer and what was happening with Matilda.  

There were some books designed for siblings, which was also amazing. We got one that explained what cancer is and another one that explained what it’s like. 

“I looked on the Redkite website early on and I saw there was the library. I accessed that service very early on and Redkite sent me some books. One was just a kind of general one about leukaemia, which was so, so helpful, because everything’s so fast and furious at the beginning in terms of treatment and your meetings with the doctors, so it was helpful to get a book and just consume the data that I wanted to consume about what leukaemia was and what the different treatments were. Will and I both wanted information. I know some families don’t, but that’s how we responded. We wanted data, we wanted as much data as possible. 

I was starting to get concerned about Maisie, so we also got some kids books. It helped because I didn’t know what language to use with Maisie, whether to say it was cancer or not or whether that would scare her. The language from those books also taught me what was okay to say to Maisie and how to phrase it. And it’s okay to say, oh, Matilda has a blood cancer and that she has leukaemia.”

“I think that overall was really empowering for Maisie. Instead of just saying she’s sick, we’re able would say to her, your sister has leukaemia, which is a type of blood cancer and explain she’s going to have lots of drugs that’s going to make her hair fall out. I think that was so good to be able to explain that to Maisie.”

Redkite’s Book Club service is free for all families affected by childhood cancer. It includes over 80 books for children, teenagers, and adults that cover all kinds of aspects of the cancer experience including strong emotions, communication challenges, and treatment. If you need helping choosing the right books, contact us and we can talk you through the different titles and help you choose. 

How to order a book from Redkite

Browse our library, click on a book you want and click ‘order a copy’, or contact us on 1800 REDKITE or support@redkite.org.au and let us know which books you would like. We’ll post your books to you free of charge, and you can keep them for as long as you need.

Request information And support

We’re ready to help. Please call us on 1800 REDKITE (Mon – Fri 9am – 7pm AEST), or fill out the form below.

    Services interested in:

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    Case Studies

    JobAccelerator: Practical help to re-enter the workforce

    “Having this support for me to re-enter the workforce has just completely changed the trajectory of our family, financially and helped me emotionally and mentally, feeling like I can achieve things again.”

    JobAccelerator: Practical help to re-enter the workforce

    “Having this support for me to re-enter the workforce has just completely changed the trajectory of our family, financially and helped me emotionally and mentally, feeling like I can achieve things again.”

    Ideas

    Counselling: when you’re ready, we are here

    Redkite provides free counselling for adults. You can talk to us once or twice, or more often if you need. It’s up to you.

    Counselling: when you’re ready, we are here

    Redkite provides free counselling for adults. You can talk to us once or twice, or more often if you need. It’s up to you.

    Ideas

    How to help mums facing childhood cancer

    It can be hard to know how to help a mother when their child has been diagnosed with cancer. Offering the right help can make all the difference.

    How to help mums facing childhood cancer

    It can be hard to know how to help a mother when their child has been diagnosed with cancer. Offering the right help can make all the difference.

    Relationships

    A guide for grandparents of children affected by childhood cancer

    This booklet answers some of the many questions which grandparents of children with cancer told Redkite they would have liked answered when their grandchild was diagnosed and during their grandchild’s treatment phase.

    A guide for grandparents of children affected by childhood cancer

    This booklet answers some of the many questions which grandparents of children with cancer told Redkite they would have liked answered when their grandchild was diagnosed and during their grandchild’s treatment phase.