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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Princess Lily Earns Her Beads: A book for children with cancer and their friends is a work of fiction in the fantasy and self-help subgenres. It is intended for young independent readers as well as those who may need a little help from an adult and was penned by author Sarah Bankuti with illustrations provided by artist Kristina Dutton. In this important and inspiring work, the author transforms the process of cancer diagnosis and early treatment into a fairytale told by the central figure Lily, who wakes up one morning feeling very sick indeed. As she undergoes her journey of healing in the enchanted forest, young readers can draw parallels with their own experiences of cancer.
It's amazing how much important and very relatable information can be conveyed in a succinct amount of pages, but this charming and well-paced picture book covers early cancer treatment and diagnosis with superb tact and accuracy. Inspiring and non-threatening on every page, I found myself very moved by the dialogue of the caring adults around Lily, which perfectly mirrors the things young people can expect to hear during their own cancer journey. Lily herself was also a motivating character for others to look up to, with a range of relatable fears and concerns, but also gentle bravery and admirable perseverance to undergo everything she needed to work toward healing. Author Sarah Bankuti and artist Kristina Dutton have come together to produce a beautiful and vital book, and I’d highly recommend Princess Lily Earns Her Beads to all children and parents who need it.