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Author: M. Maitland DeLand, MD

Illustrator: Jennifer Zivoin

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Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2010

Material: hard cover

Summary: When Dr. DeMarco tells Suzy's family she might have cancer, Suzy has lots of questions. Dr. DeMarco introduces Suzy to the Great Katie Kate to help with her defeat the Worry Wombat by answering her questions. From diagnosis and testing to treatments and side effects, this picture book explains what can happen if you have cancer.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 10; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: all ages

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending. This is a book to be shared with a child has been (or may be) diagnosed with cancer.

Adult Reader Reaction: I admit I was skeptical about The Great Katie Kate. But, like the way she helped Suzy, my worries went away. The story honestly explains the possible steps in diagnosing and treating cancer, and draws on a child's everyday experiences to help them make non-frightening connections. I was surprised that some of the testing was listed as little more than a "pinch." That's never been my experience with a biopsy.

Pros: Clear, calm explanations about cancer make this a very special book to share with children who may be diagnosed with cancer, are preparing for treatment, and/or their siblings, friends, and classmates.

Cons: While the story says that some treatments have side effects, they seem to be downplayed in favor of a more "friendly" presentation.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book for a very specific audience at a very specific time. There is a note to parents and caregivers at the beginning that is helpful in explaining how to share this book.


Educational Themes: This is a fictional story with a lot of factual information. The story is meant to be shared with children facing or dealing with cancer diagnoses.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, health and medicine, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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