For children who have a loved one with cancer

When someone is diagnosed with a serious illness as cancer for example, the entire family gets shaken by the event, especially young children.

Explaining illness and its consequences to children is often a difficult and complex endeavour. A simple approach rarely reassures a child. It is therefore important to thematize the situation, the new daily routine and the specific changes the patient will go through.

Each situation is unique

For certain illnesses, such as breast cancer, books aimed at children do exist. However, these books cover one specific situation and usually reflect a standard/traditional family structure. The nuclear family is not representative of many patients’ reality; patients may be divorced and live alone, their children may be cared by a grandparent, a nanny, an uncle… the family configurations are many.

A Story Your Way

Novacarta will use the print-on-demand technology to create customized books in accordance to each family situation. By preparing a multitude of scenarios covering the problematic of cancer, NovaCarta will select the appropriate ones for each patient, thus providing them with a story that best matches with their situation. Knowing which scenarios to select can be done with the help of the medical team that best knows the patient.

A semi-automatic work flow will print the book, on demand, for the patient. The book will be delivered either by mail or directly through the medical team depending on the anonymity the patient desires.

In order to render the book even more individualized, Novacarta’s “Story for You” project will also propose several illustration styles done by different known cartoonists. Each patient can therefore choose the illustration style they prefer for the story printed specifically for them.

New Technologies

Our first goal with this project is to produce traditional books, printed on paper. However, with emerging reading methods: eBooks, tablets, smart-phone Apps, and computer animations, we are also planning to make the books available in these formats and even make them interactive.

In Brief

Novacarta will produce books explaining cancer to children where the story is representative of the child’s family situation (i.e. nuclear family, single mother, only child, siblings), with the illustration style chosen by the patient.

Future Potential

This first modular book is a prototype from which we will be developing similar stories for other age groups as well as on other illnesses. The ultimate goal of the book is to help children identify with a situation where a parent is sick.


The first book “Lia and the peas or What is Cancer?” created by NovaCarta is available here: