Friday, March 29, 2013

March Book Reviews

Greetings, Heart Friends!

Today's blog is the first in a series of monthly book reviews of books of interest to the Congenital Heart Defect community.  I will review 3 children's books.

It's not common for a book to get only 5-star reviews on but the first book I will review has done just that!

Sabrina: The Girl with a Hole in her Heart by Wendy Lewis is a touching story about an amazing organization called "Save A Child's Heart" (SACH).  This Israeli-based organization has gathered surgeons, nurses and other specialists from around the world to treat children with congenital heart defects in places where there are no hospitals to treat such children.

As the mother of a child who was born with a heart defect, I cannot imagine living in a country where my child would have to be flown somewhere far away from me for treatment. This story chronicles Sabrina's journey to have an atrial septal defect repaired and how SACH saved her life.

I especially liked how the book included drawings that children will enjoy as well as illustrations of actual echocardiograms and photographs of equipment that is used in surgery. Everything was discussed in a matter-of-fact manner that made it less threatening and frightening for children to read (or have read to them).

I highly recommend this book to any families of children dealing with congenital heart defects. The book will give all children an appreciation for the care they have received and the care that loving professionals are willing to provide because of their passion to help children in the heart community.

For more information, you can visit:

The second children's book I am reviewing today is called The Gift of the LadyBug by Carole M. Amber. Like Sabrina: The Girl with a Hole in her Heart, The Gift of the LadyBug is a 5-star book on

This book is a gently written tale of a "child" (a ladybug) who is special and faces a life-threatening illness. The illustrations are beautiful and the story captures the beauty of the philosophy that we must make each and every day count and that life is fleeting.  I love how the parents are able to rejoice in the uniqueness of their child and how they were able to change their lifestyle to accommodate all their child had to teach them before he left/passed away.

I believe the lessons in the book could be cherished by any family, but especially by CHD families. I highly recommend the book.

For more information, you can visit:

The last book I will review today is a book that by now is a classic in the CHD community.  Matty's Heart and Matty's Heart Cath coloring book is a set of books by Jean Clabough, R.N. that have been a mainstay in many CHD libraries the world over.

This set is exclusively available from Kids with Heart (  What makes Matty's Heart books special is that they were among the first books ever written to help children really understand the procedures they might have to face if born with a severe, congenital heart defect.  Matty was born with transposition of the great vessels and thus he required open-heart surgery to survive. The book was written in 1995 and it showed children what they could expect during their hospitalization.

This book would also be appropriate for siblings or friends of children who will be undergoing open-heart surgery to help them understand what the hospitalized child is going to go through.  One of my favorite parts of the book is how it lovingly shows the mother and father throughout the ordeal demonstrating that a crisis like this can be shared by the CHD family and they can grow in love and understanding for surviving such a situation.

I highly recommend this book.

I will be reviewing books once a month on my blog. If you have a book you would like for me to consider, you can mail it to me at:

Anna Jaworski - book reviewer
Baby Hearts Press
3910 Sierra Blanca Blvd.
Temple, TX 76502-1662

Next month I will review Amanda Rose Adams' book Heart Warriors:  A Family Faces Congenital Heart Disease.


Mary Black said...

Great post, Anna! Information on these books is very useful.

Anna Jaworski said...

Thanks, Mary!