Review by Joey Madia
Carola Schmidt, a pediatric oncology pharmacist and author of several children’s books, including others on cancer, brings hope and passion to all of her works. She has been on the front lines and has used both her expertise in the field (she also writes nonfiction for the scientific mega-publisher Springer) and her big heart to craft stories that inspire confidence and positive action.
Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl reinforces the positive feedback and support that everyone needs—most especially youth battling cancer. Since the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, power and identity have been associated with hair. And, as we know from personal experience and film/TV, cancer treatment often leads to hair loss.
When the heroine of the story is faced with losing her hair, it is an opportunity, not to mourn loss, but to have a Hat and Scarf Shower to celebrate creativity and self-expression. Many of us have hat and scarf collections. They help to express our identity and can open wide the doors of possibility for the imagination.
Bald is Beautiful—with its simple, encouraging language and strategic use of boldface and larger type to emphasize phrases like “Be wonderful!” and “Be strong! Be powerful!”—begs the reader to engage with it numerous times throughout the journey that the child and their family and friends take. Schmidt uses a past, present, future approach to the narrative, offering ideas of things to do to manage and celebrate the journey. These include reading books about inspiring females, taking walks in nature, and having a picnic.
She also addresses the inevitable bad days, writing, “They pass so quickly!”
With the right amount of support and inspiration, this is true.
The talented illustrator of Bald is Beautiful, Dian Ovieta, has used a soft pastel and crayon palette that supports the narrative and inspires interaction and action beyond the page.
No matter the journey, it is always a little easier with the support of family and friends and knowing that you are not alone.
Carola Schmidt does a wonderful job of making us all feel like we are surrounded by Love and Support and up to the task of not just surviving, but thriving, when life gets hard and the challenges are severe.
AUTHOR: Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl
AUTHOR: Carola Schmidt
ILLUSTRATIONS: Dian Ovieta