Early Chapter Book for Chronically Ill Kids – White Bear’s Big Adventure by Marie Cheine

Posted in Guest Post, Other Disabilities, Special Needs Children by - October 03, 2017
Early Chapter Book for Chronically Ill Kids – White Bear’s Big Adventure by Marie Cheine

The folks at Special Needs Book Review congratulate the team behind the early chapter book for chronically ill kids titled White Bear’s Big Adventure by Marie Cheine. White Bear’s Big Adventure is the first in a series of chapter books created for young readers, particularly chronically ill children, their siblings, family and friends.

Most children never see the inside of a hospital; however, there are some kids who are chronically, seriously or terminally ill. As explained on http://www.harmonicfactory.com/bookshelf/: “The vision behind “White Bear’s World” features White Bear, a stuffed animal whose purpose in life is taking care of children with life threatening illnesses. White Bear is smart, kind and available. He is always present for every IV, every medical procedure, every operation, and every doctor’s visit. He is available to cuddle at night and for good times, too.  White Bear’s World is a place of safety, security and support for kids with special needs.

White Bear is also featured in a book series created for young readers, particularly seriously ill children, their siblings, family and friends.Yet, chronically ill children do not have what others take for granted. They do not have a series of books written about and for kids like them.  Sure, there are books about visits to the doctor, breaking legs, having new siblings, and even for adoption, but these do not represent the needs of kids who are chronically, seriously or terminally ill.

These special kids deserve books that they and their siblings can relate to.  We are planning a series of books that asks and answers questions that sick children can relate to so that they don’t feel so alone. Illness and hospitals will be matter of fact locations in this series, not special events.”

What is being said about White Bear’s Big Adventure by Marie Cheine

White Bear’s Adventures is a beautifully written and conceived book for an important audience–children who are sick and/or in hospitals, as well as for their brothers and sisters and cousins and friends. White Bear helps make the hospital a friendly place, and children will recognize him immediately as a smart and fun-loving ally. The illustrations are strong and bold. The book succeeds in being entertaining, informing, and reassuring all at the same time. I couldn’t recommend this more highly”.

Sharman Apt Russell, winner of 2016 John Burroughs Medal, author of the YA Teresa of the New World

We thank Marie Cheine, the author, for her guest post telling us more about this book and its creators.

Guest Post by Marie Cheine White Bear’s Big Adventure

Drawing from Early Chapter Book for Chronically Ill Kids - White Bear's Big Adventure by Marie Cheine*A description of the book:

White Bear’s Big Adventure is the story of three multi-racial siblings and a stuffed bear named White Bear. The youngest sibling, Angel, has a rare medical condition called VATER Syndrome. When she is admitted to the hospital for a kidney transplant, her best friend, White Bear gets lost in hospital linens. The adventure begins when White Bear tumbles down the laundry chute and Angel’s family and friends try to track him down before she realizes he’s gone.

*The “purpose” or reason the author wrote it

The original intent of the author was to write a story based on actual events at Tampa General Hospital when her niece underwent her first kidney transplant.  The project quickly grew into a vision – a series of books for and about children with all sorts of special needs, disabilities and illnesses, particularly serious illnesses.  Both Angel and White Bear will be featured in each story.  Hospitals will be matter of fact locations in this series, not special events and White Bear will always be there to offer moral support and more importantly, he will be there for every adventure and to make new friends along the way.  The next book in the series will be called Angel and White Bear Go to Camp.

*The target audience it is for

White Bear’s Big Adventure is created for young readers, particularly chronically ill children, their siblings, family and friends. It is an early chapter book with illustrations at the beginning of each chapter so it is short enough to be read aloud to children who are not quite ready to read on their own.

*Excerpt from White Bear’s Big Adventure

“At the doors to the operating room, one of the nurses told Mother, Father, and the rest of the family that they had to wait in a special waiting room while Angel was in surgery. It was going to take at least three to four hours, she explained. The nurse carefully lifted Angel and transferred her to another bed and she was wheeled out of sight. Angel’s hospital room bed was left in the hallway. One of the housekeepers came by and picked the sheets and pillow up off of the bed and threw them down the laundry chute. No one noticed that White Bear had gotten caught in the sheets.”

*Bio of Author:

 Marie Cheine Author of an Early Chapter Book for Chronically Ill Kids - White Bear's Big AdventureMarie Cheine: While attending third grade at North Coleman Elementary School on Long Island, Marie entered a poetry contest. Her poem, “Little Joe” won second prize. Not only was it read aloud to the audience, but a professional ballerina performed an “interpretive dance” to the reading. This was the start of her lifelong passion for writing and storytelling.  She has been writing stories and poems ever since.

She became a medical assistant and has worked in the medical field ever since.  She was a medical writer for Florida Cardiovascular Institute and for the last twenty five years she has been the Care Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Adult Congenital Heart Clinic.  More recently she became a free-lance writer and Creative Communications Liaison for Harmonic Factory, a music studio in Tampa, Florida.

Until recently her career in medicine and her career in writing ran parallel to each other. But when her niece was born with multiple congenital anomalies called VATER syndrome including a perforated anus, kidney failure, a tethered spine and a heart condition called Wolfe Parkinson White, the lines between her careers began to blend.

Following a particularly long admission when her niece was hospitalized for almost an entire year, Marie formulated the idea of creating a series of books dedicated to children with serious and life-threatening illnesses. Following her niece’s kidney transplant, she published the first of the series, White Bear’s Big Adventure. These books will be interesting and easy to relate to, lighthearted enough to entertain, and will be respectful of the limited concentration time that seriously ill children can devote to reading.

Marie is a mother, an aunt and a grandmother. She received her Master’s Degree in Literature and Writing from Western New Mexico University and lives in Tampa, Florida with one dog, three cats and seven fish.

Follow Marie Cheine:

Below: Illustration from White Bear’s Big Adventure  

Drawing from Early Chapter Book for Chronically Ill Kids - White Bear's Big Adventure by Marie CheineBio of Illustrator: Taken from her web site:

Jeanine Henning: Since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with storytelling and drawing. I was absolutely intrigued by mystery, adventure, fantasy, ghost stories, poetry, animation – and yes – magic. Yes, I confess, I told a few tall stories in my day back then, but, I was just practicing for what I would truly do one day. Create.

I’ve never been one to conform to any expectations, and as such have proudly maintained an ever evolving and diverse artistic career driven by imagination, a belief in truthful creativity, professionalism and curiosity! As long as I can create freely, and deliver art that’s congruent with what I ‘envision’ at the time of creation – I know I will move a few souls, create a few smiles, and ignite a few thoughts…

My greatest influences were of course Disney and the awesome Warner Bros as a kid. Then, growing up, I ‘met’ Mr. Shakespeare who inspired me to play with words and respect the artistry of language. Leonardo da Vinci pretty much took his seat as Diversity Hero #1, and later Alex Ross inspired me to embrace my own style as Comic Artist! Lewis Caroll always reassured me that it is “OK” to believe in 6 impossible things before breakfast, and Linda Bergkvist’s amazing digital paintings became my ‘silent tutors’ in the world of digital airbrushing. JK Rowling proved to me that the power of magic is too strong to suppress, and as creator I have to be the difference that makes the difference…

Follow Jeanine Henning 

Read Also: Interview: Marie Cheine – Helping Chronically Ill Kids with Books, Website, and Resources

Buy White Bear’s Big Adventure  Amazon.com  Amazon.ca

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.