REVIEW: ‘Why My Mummy?’ By Donna & Kai

Published: May 2016

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 20

Format: Soft cover Picture Books for kids (purchased & Signed)

5/5 Stars

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Why My Mummy? is a picture book designed by Donna and her son Kai for children whose parents have cancer. It’s a book that is poignant, but gentle and a beautiful sight to behold.

I first heard about Why My Mummy? whilst watching The Project one night on TV. The crew there were talking to Donna (I think from memory) about how she noticed the gap in the market for books aimed at children to help explain what their parents are going through. Donna was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2008 and upon struggling to find something to express the grave and emotional journey they were on, Donna decided to make her own book to help parents and children in the same situation and so the book Why My Mummy? was born.

When Donna was first diagnosed, she searched far and wide for children’s books about cancer to help explain to Kai what was happening to her but found nothing but doom, gloom and disaster. “I could’t find a single book to read to Kai about cancer. How do you explain to a child what terminal means? Why your hair is falling out? How can I help my son to process the fear of losing me?”- Why My Mummy? Website

When Donna was on the project, she was crowd funding the book to get it self published, seeing a very worthwhile course, I jumped at the chance to help and so I crowd-funded my third every book. It arrived earlier this month and I couldn’t have been honoured and proud to be involved (even though it was only a small financial payment) in this fantastic resource for families. Donna was originally asking for $10000 in donations (viz Pozible) to get the project off the floor and make it a reality, by the end of the crowd funding project she had $23085 donated by 465 supporters and her dream to create this book became well and truly a reality.

The end result is a stunning and vibrant 20 page picture book featuring photos of Donna and her family and a story narrated by 9 year old Kai. Each double page spread features one full page photo of Donna & Kai or Donna and the rest of the family, as they deal day-by-day with the cancer. Set opposite each photo is a one-toned full coloured page of varrying shades of blue, grey and purple. The text is written in a childlike bubble like font and accompanied by cartoon like illustrations of tears, plants, birds and flowers.

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The story itself was written by Donna, who choose to narrate  the story from the perspective of her then 9-year-old son Kai, as it was his question of ,

‘Why, out of all the mummies in the world does this have to have to my mum?’

that jump started the book’s creation. What ensures is a heartfelt, beautifully presented and narrated story of a child coming to terms with what cancer is and what it means for his family.

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This book is stunning. More importantly though, it has heart and soul and I hope, much like Donna and her family, that it reaches families around the globe who are looking for this incredible resource and touching story.

I wrote this book to help other parents and carers explain what cancer is to their children in simple terms using non-intimidating language they can understand. It is the first in a series of books aimed at helping families living with cancer. 

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To learn more about the book Why My Mummy?, visit the following social media websites:

Why My Mummy? Facebook Page | Twitter Account | Coming Soon: Why My Mummy? Website | Instagram

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Sadly the book isn’t available to purchase yet, for those who haven’t crowd-funded the project, you can however sign up to the website for updates on when the book will be available again. To do so, click here to be taken to the web page.

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