The Great Katie Kate Discusses Diabetes

What It Is

Young Andrew becomes ill and faints while at a carnival. He wakes up in a hospital with his parents by his side, and learns that he has a disease called “diabetes.” Naturally, Andrew has loads of questions and concerns. But the Great Katie Kate, an imaginary young female “superhero,” arrives to help Andrew overcome his fears. They embark on an adventurous journey through the human body as Katie Kate describes the medical aspects of diabetes. They also visit an imaginary playground and meet other kids with the disease who tell Andrew what he can expect and how he can manage his condition. Andrew’s fears are represented by the giant, furry “Worry Wombat” creature. As he becomes more confident about his diabetes and sees that he will be able to play like a “normal” child, the Worry Wombat shrinks in size and eventually disappears.

Why It’s Fun

Maitland DeLand does a wonderful job of relaying the fears of a child who learns he has a complex chronic illness. Her story is factual, but non-alarming. The illustrations evoke a whimsical feeling, which should help children relate to Andrew and understand “big words” such as pancreas, insulin and glucose. Dr. DeLand is a radiation oncologist and this is her second “Katie Kate” story in a new series. (Though not yet reviewed here, the first book addresses cancer and an upcoming title is about asthma.)

Who’s Going To Love It

Diabetes is a condition that children will likely hear about in their early school years, through a friend or family member with the disease, or even first-hand. This book is a great tool for introducing kids to diabetes with its easy-to-understand story and relatable characters. The subject matter and longer length are more suitable for kids 5 and up, and if diabetes is a reality for your family, this would be a nice book to have on-hand.

Reading Time

About 9-10 minutes

Read-It-Again Points

8 out of 10

Book Information

The Great Katie Kate Discusses Diabetes
By: M. Maitland DeLand, M.D.; Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
Published by: Greenleaf Book Group
Approximate retail price: $15.99
Publisher’s recommended ages: 3 - 5


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