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English Version

This book is dedicated to all mums receiving chemotherapy and to their children. 

It is an instrument accompanying them on a journey that will bring changes. 

We can´t always decide the right time for a change occurring in our lives but we can choose how to adapt to it and how to live it with our beloved.

The diagnosis of oncological or hematological disease is considered a highly stressful event. Living this experience in that stage of the life dedicated to the maternity and to the nurturance of young children leads to some peculiar challenges. Psychological adaptations involve not only personal but also parenting dimensions. 

Existing evidences on this topic emphasize the value of an effective dialogue between parent and child about what is happening in the family, in order to reduce the possible emotional distress. 

One of the most powerful communication tools suggested by pedagogues, is storytelling in particular through the stimulation of the visual-verbal channel. Picture books, where colored images are commented by short simple phrases, enable the development of an affective relationship between the reader and the child.

Moving from this premises the picture book "The Vase of Flowers" aims to promote a resilient attitude in children and mothers (who were diagnosed with cancer) by fostering and facilitating their emotional communication.

A team composed by a psychotherapist working in a Public Hospital, a painter, an illustrator and  a graphic designer, met regularly in order to brainstorm on the main characteristics of the picture books. A particular attention was dedicated to the choice of painting technique, range of colors and nuances, symbolic value of the images and content of the commenting text.

The picture book tells a story of transformation, in which the most frequent chemotherapy side effects (i.e. hair changes, fatigue, vomiting, etc..) are described in 15 watercolor painting boards. Through a dialogue between a mother and a son, where the child has to imagine how the mum might change after the loss of her hairs (i.e. Do I look like a chocolate egg?!”), two messages are conveyed to the readers: 1. Even if change might seem at a first glance a daunting task it can be tackled; 2. Mothers and children are not alone in this process, since there are a lot of people that are willing to support them (i.e. father, family, teachers, healthcare providers).


Associations of Patients or Clinical Centers interested in getting copies for their patients as a concrete  expression of commitment in the promotion of humanization of care can contact: