Books by Janna Matthies

TWO IS ENOUGH by Janna Matthies
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Readers in this living situation (both adult and child) will find comfort in the reminder that two is enough for support and love. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Two is all you need for a family. Read full book review >
THE GOODBYE CANCER GARDEN by Janna Matthies
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2011

A sunny story about how a family deals with the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Young Janie and Jeffrey have a lot of questions about their mother's cancer, and the doctor tells them, "[W]e're working very hard to make her better—probably by pumpkin time." Janie decides to plant a garden in their yard—"Hello pumpkins, goodbye cancer!" The path of cancer and treatment is clearly explained in the text for very young readers—the operation, the chemo, the medical tests, the hair loss, the aches and exhaustion—as Janie and her family plan and plant the garden. Bright breezy illustrations show the family accepting the challenge with grace and optimism. However, the illustrations do not show any of the difficult side effects of chemo and surgery. Except for the very first page, Mom always has a sunny smile, even when newly bald. Friends cheerfully line up to help feed and care for the family, and the illness is painted as a little more than a bump in the road. Looking on the bright side is important when facing a cancer diagnosis, but the illustrations could have given a small nod to its challenges in order to make this book a little more realistic. (Picture book. 3-8)Read full book review >
PETER, THE KNIGHT WITH ASTHMA by Janna Matthies
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

Fighting fire-breathing dragons is difficult even for a brave knight like Peter, but when he cannot breathe, it becomes next to impossible. My Lady (Mom) comes to his rescue with Puffy, his inhaler, but the two decide that a trip to the doctor is in order. Readers will get an accurate picture of what happens at the doctor's office, from using a peak flow meter and being examined to talking with the doctor about what seems to trigger the attacks. With the help of his new medicine, inhaled through a nebulizer, Peter can finally conquer that dragon…just in time to see a new monster arise from the moat. Backmatter includes a note from a pediatric pulmonologist giving parents the basic facts about asthma. Lewis's watercolor illustrations portray an ordinary boy with an active imagination who does not let asthma slow him down or keep him from his adventures. The inside peek at the medical appointment will reassure those readers facing similar office visits. Its mission is in plain view, but those kids and parents facing an asthma diagnosis will be grateful for it. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >