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You Are the Best Medicine Hardcover – September 7, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–This book delivers a soothing, lullabylike message from a mother with cancer to her young daughter. Reassuring and tactful, it affirms that love and kindness are the best medicine for anyone who is ill. While Clark addresses scary situations like chemotherapy and hair loss, she does so in a gentle, understanding way. Each of these difficult topics is bridged with memories that the mother has of her daughter as a baby. She explains how her child's first smile, her sweet baby hair, and times she had a cold will help her through her own hardships and fear. A happy ending is included; the mother recovers and rejoices in all the time that she and her daughter will have together in the future. Soft pastel illustrations are as beautiful and gentle as the text, and very child oriented. An important and heartfelt addition for most collections.–Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Here’s a much-needed book, and one that’s done with lots of love. A mother narrates: “When I tell you I have cancer, I will be sad.” For each moment of hardship, this mother finds a happier time in the life of her and her daughter with which to equate it. When she feels scared, it will remind her of how she could make her frightened child feel safe after a nightmare, and that will calm her. When her hair falls out, she will remember her child’s head as a baby and hope that her hair grows back as beautifully. When she feels sick, she’ll think of the times she took care of her little girl and know just hearing her child’s stories will do the same for her. Then comes hope: “And then I will be well. And I will think of all the happiest times that we have had and the happy times we are going to have.” Soft-edge illustrations, tender in feel and comforting in color, add sweetness to Baby Einstein founder Clark’s story. Sadly, there will be much use for this, but anyone needing to talk to a child about cancer will find the right words here. Grades K-3. --Ilene Cooper
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; 1st Printing edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061956449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061956447
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and purchased this book to help my 4-year-old daughter understand my illness and treatment. It conveys some basic messages with a very sweet story line. The fact that the mother in the story keeps relating her experiences to her child as a baby really appealed to my daughter; she is at an age where she loves to hear stories about herself as a baby.

I purchased 3 books from amazon.com on the same subject, and this was my favorite -- and more importantly, her favorite. She actually asks to read "the books about mommy's cancer."

It is important to note that the book does give the idea throughout that the mother will be OK at the end of the chemo treatments and life will go back to normal. My prognosis is very good, so I was comfortable with this message, but if your prognosis is not as positive this book may not be for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At 30, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I bought this book to help my 2.5 year old understand my upcoming mastectomy and chemotherapy. This was a really sweet book and brought tears to my eyes when I read it. However, I returned it because it is not literal enough for a toddler/preschooler. I think an older child (5+) will understand the comparisons between the baby memories and the effects of cancer and treatment, but it's really too abstract for a small child. I returned it and purchased "Mom and the Polka Dot Boo Boo". This book better explains what is happening with simple words.
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Format: Hardcover
Imagine being a child and watching a parent go through cancer treatment. It can definitely be overwhelming. That's why You Are the Best Medicine by cancer-survivor, Julie Aigner Clark is a must have for a child with a parent who has been diagnosed.

The book follows a mom as she explains to her daughter that she has cancer. As the mom discusses some of the trials and tribulations she'll go through, she relates it back to many of the memories she has of her child: How she will be sad because she's sick, but she'll be happy since it's a sickness her daughter can't catch. How she will feel scared, but will remember all the times her daughter had a nightmare and came into her room to sleep with her. And how she will have to take medicine that makes her lose her hair, but will remember her daughter's sweet little baby head, round and bald.

As it prepares a child for the rough road ahead, it's a great resource to teach children about the importance of love and support. It truly is a wonderful reminder that love and kindness really are the best medicine.
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Format: Hardcover
Since I review children's books from a bibliotherapy perspective, I'm solely focused on the emotional aspect it offers to a child. Author Julie Aigner Clark has survived breast cancer twice - and after reading You Are The Best Medicine it is clear she knows exactly what healing words children need to hear from a parent during cancer treatment....love, emotional safety, honesty, and happiness. Cancer and happiness?? Yes, I said it - happiness. Because throughout the story, the mom keeps touching upon how the thought of her daughter brings her such happiness and keeps her going. The best medicine is her loving relationship with her precious child. I believe that's also the best medicine for the child. This is perfect bibliotherapy. What a beautiful reminder to stay focused on the positive.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this with my 6-year-old after surgery #1, before surgery #2 and chemo/radiation.

It was incredibly helpful for him, also for both of us parents to read/bond with him. The book covers things like fatigue, baldness, etc but in a positive light - "when my hair is gone I will remember when you were a bald little baby." It's VERY sweet and hopeful, and set a tone of "we will get through this, no need to fear."

We also offered for him to take the book to school to read with his teacher. It gives others an "in" to listen for what he needs to be saying.
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Format: Hardcover
Watching a parent go through cancer treatment is scary for any child. "You are the Best Medicine" helps to lessen those fears in a way that's calm and soothing. Julie did an amazing job with the text and message the book provides. Along with the beautiful colors and the soft illustrations used throughout, you feel nothing but love and warmth as you read the pages. There's nothing on the market like this. Thank you Julie for providing a gift that can turn a difficult situation into a story about love and optimism.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book for a mom with breast cancer. I bought this when my 40 year old daughter was diagnosed to read to her 5 year old daughter. It took us awhile to read it to her as pretty emotional but when the time was right it was perfect. I would recommend this highly to any woman with young children undergoing breast cancer. It's been a year and my daughter is doing well as is my grandaughter!
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Format: Hardcover
Not exactly what I was hoping. The book focuses more on cancer than I thought it would. I was hoping it covered lots of chronic illnesses, but it is cancer specific. The content is very good! it gives a good run down of what can happen during cancer. It is written in a very kid friendly way!
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