Resources for Kiddos

I’ve seen a lot of questions on social media about children’s books that explain the transplant process in an age-appropriate way. Books are such powerful tools when children are young. Kids identify with protagonists, and how they view the world can be shaped through those portrayals. Books help teach life’s most difficult lessons, and they illustrate those lessons in a way that children can understand.

I have yet to find a children’s book about transplants (in general), so I wrote my own for N. I call it “My Special Gift.” I have included my original sketches and the text below. I used Shutterfly to create a hardback book, and I used a coupon to get the book for free! If you want to use the text and images below, you can make your own book and dress it up however you please. Shutterfly gives out discounts and coupons pretty regularly for free or 50% off photo books, so keep your eye out for one of those! If you do decide to use my book, all I ask is that you consider making a donation to the John Clarke Perry Foundation or to the charity of your choosing.

“My Special Gift”

Sometimes when a child gets sick

And they don’t feel so swell,

They have to get a transplant

To help make them get well.

A transplant is a piece of you

That’s healthy and brand new.

It’s given by a special donor,

A present just for you!

Your donor gave your transplant

With lots of love galore,

Because they didn’t need that piece

Of themselves anymore.

There are lots of different transplants

That boys and girls may need.

Each one is a special gift

That is true, indeed!

 Some get a new heart,

a liver,

new lungs,

New kidneys,

or marrow from bone

You got a ____________

That is now all your own!

Sometimes when you get a transplant

You may get some scars.

Some look like big zippers,

Some even look like stars.

Your scars are your life lines.

They tell a special tale

Of how you won your battle

And how you did not quit or fail.

You should always take your medicine

So that the whole day long

You can keep on playing

And stay healthy, big, and strong!

When you have to see the doctor

It can be a scary place.

But you don’t need to be afraid

Just keep a smile upon your face!

The doctors use machines

To help make sure you stay

Extra strong and healthy

In each and every way!

Not all kids get transplants

But there are lots who do.

Yours is part of what makes you special.

It is part of what makes you YOU!

There are several other children’s books I’ve found, but they are not all applicable to everyone’s situations. I’ve made a list of them below.
This book is about a little girl and her bunny explaining the scar she has from her CHD.
This is another book specifically for CHD children.
This is another book specifically for CHD children.
This is specifically for heart transplant patients, though I believe this will become a series (Howl Gets a Kidney, etc). I may be mistaken, but I thought I had read that somewhere.
And as always, if you look in the “related items” section below all of these, you can find similar resources. I have not yet found books for older children or teenagers, but I will keep combing the interwebs and report back!
This is not in any way a transplant book, but a very dear friend of mine sent it to me while we were in the hospital waiting for N’s heart. I read it to him so often I had it memorized. This book helped me far more than it helped him (as he was only 7 weeks old), but I highly recommend it for those who are still waiting in the hospital with their transplant warriors. It teaches children that waiting is not easy, but it is worth it. Waiting is difficult even if it’s just for a toy, or a holiday, or a dessert. Waiting for a life-saving organ can seem like it lasts an eternity of eternities. This book may help you power through those dark days of waiting.

About kharris

Kate Harris is an aerospace engineer for the United States Air Force. She is also a wife, mother, baker, quilter, and, now, a blogger!

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  1. This is awesome! I’m a liver recipient and have 5 Grandchildren. A great way to explain this to them!!

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