Today I thrilled to share a powerful story of resilience in the face of tragedy. Angel is a 13-year-old biracial girl who has spent most of her childhood in and out of hospitals due to terminal illness.
In this short video, you will meet Angel with her bright smile, and her best friend White Bear. Together, they are bringing smiles to children’s hospitals everywhere thanks to the multiracial chapter book that depicts Angel’s journey.
White Bear’s Big Adventure
As you see in the video, devoted aunt and author Marie Cheine intertwined her medical career and her love for the written word. Angel was born with multiple congenital anomalies called VATER syndrome, as well as a heart condition called Wolfe Parkinson White.
After watching Angel struggle while hospitalized for over a year, Marie chose to create a series of books. This chapter book, White Bear’s Big Adventure, became the calm in her family’s storm. Marie has dedicated her books to all children facing serious and life-threatening illnesses and the parents who desperately need the courage to support them.
White Bear is a stuffed bear who is an expert in hospital life. Disaster strikes when White Bear accidentally gets left on a hospital bed in the hallway when his best friend Angel is taken to surgery. He is tossed down the laundry chute and taken to another hospital far away.
You will love rooting for clever White Bear in this wet and wild adventure as he fight to get back to Angel before she wakes up from her surgery.
Giving Children a Reason to Smile
After talking to Marie personally, I can attest to her brave committment. Most noteworthy, her mission is to help other families who desperately need a reason to smile. The first book in the series White Bears Big Adventure is lighthearted and entertaining. More importantly, the reality of the book will help others learn to be respectful of other families in her situation.
White Bear is a companion that terminally ill children will appreciate and find especially relevant. They can relate to their own treasured belongings that keep them company in the lonely hospital beds. Additionally, I love how this book’s illustrations highlight Marie’s multiracial family.
Fun Facts About the Book
The doctors and nurses were named after family pets.
White Bear key chains are available and soon, you will also be able to buy White Bear temporary tattoos!
White Bear Goes to Camp is the next book in the series.
The author Marie has appeared in a music video.
Teaching Empathy with Books
Marie wrote this book as part of her children’s literature course for her Master’s Degree. A noteworthy cause to fill the diversity gap in children’s literature. Mixed kids and biracial girls are rare in picture and chapter books. Marie knew that her family story was another avenue to teach children to have compassion and empathy.
This story will foster inclusion and acceptance with children who desperately need to see books represent the multicultural world we live in where multiracial families are on the rise.
This story highlights empathy and celebrates family as well as friendship. It creates a world where difficult situations can be solved when people work together.
A Voice, An Advocate, A Friend
Terminally ill children often miss school, miss holidays, and miss events that most children are able to take part in. Often, there is a stigma attached to children who are sick. White Bear’s Big Adventure is a truly unique way to have courageous conversations with children and students about terminal illness.
From the author: White Bear knows being different is sometimes hard. However, being different is what makes every child unique and special. He also knows that some days are better than others.
White Bear is a special friend who helps children to discuss their fears. He asks questions and helps parents and loved ones answer them. Most importantly, White Bear wants all children who are fighting serious illness. As a result of this book, all families dealing with disabilities or difficult situations ought to know they are not alone.
Recommended reading age: 6-10 years old
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author to facilitate this review. As always, all opinions are my own.
More about the Author
Marie Cheine is a lifelong writer and story-teller. She is a world traveler despite her fear of flying. Marie has worked in the medical field in Florida, USA for the last twenty-five years. While Marie is in the medical field also has experience as a song writer and newspaper columnist.
Marie is a mother, an aunt and a grandmother. She received her Master’s Degree in Literature and Writing. Marie lives in Tampa, Florida with one dog, three cats, and seven fish. Her lovely book was inspired by her kids to see a diverse and inclusive world where books are windows into the world.
Purchase White Bear’s Big Adventure and support this amazing and brave book endeavor today. This week only, 5 lucky winners will receive a copy of the book. Details for entering the book giveaway below.
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