An allegorical stab, mildly pessimistic, at explaining to the quite young the effects of cancer.
The story moves forward, leisurely, at the tap of an arrow, with some tweeting of birds and hearts radiating out from a girl in love but no real interaction to speak of. Eyeville is a picture-pretty village, with cozy houses and a general state of bonhomie. One day, an odd, gnomelike creature appears at the door of Mr. Nice and volunteers to do a little construction work inside his house. Mr. Nice being nice, reluctantly agrees—after all, the house looked good to begin with—and the gnome, who goes by the name of Kanser, proceeds to do what cancer does: He metastasizes, taking over and ruining Mr. Nice’s home, along with his neighbors’ homes and businesses. Ultimately the town manages to dig out the disaster, but then they have to move, which seems a little rough after all the grief and surgery. Why not rebuild, which might be a more comforting message and lift the security factor?
The devastation that cancer can wreak, along with the fact that it can be excised, is charted here with honesty if not clarity and with a look to a life with a future. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)