The topic of hair loss can be tough for anyone facing cancer. It helps to understand why it happens, to know that hair will grow back, and to take steps to make it less of a problem. The American Cancer Society?s latest children?s book, The Long and the Short of It: A Tale About Hair, follows the real lives and stories of two young girls named Isabel and Emma who both experience different issues with their hair. The book is designed to teach children about hair loss, the act of giving and to help adults examine common misperceptions children may have about cancer and hair loss.

In this story, one girl wants her hair to be longer; the other has lost her hair during cancer treatment and would just like to have it back. Although their stories are different, each girl?s experience leads her to a new understanding. For Isabel, the realization that she can help someone through the simple act of giving her hair away; for Emma, the emotion of losing her hair while finding that others want to help. In both cases, the acts of receiving and giving involve a leap of faith and acceptance of the unknown.

Through this story, children will learn about courage, friendship, generosity, goal setting, patience, pride, persistence, problem-solving, and responsibility. The book also includes a helpful reading and discussion guide for parents and teachers and a list of fun learning activities for children.

Barbara Meyers, EdD, one of the authors, is Isabel?s grandmother. She is chair of the department of Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University and has been an educator for more than forty years. She loves to read, beach comb, and cook, especially with Isabel, Isabel?s brother Charlie, and their cousins Jakey and Hailey. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Joel.

Lydia Criss Mays PhD, the other author, is a friend of Emma?s. She was an elementary school teacher in Tennessee and Georgia and recently earned her doctoral degree in early childhood education from Georgia State University, where she now teaches. She loves spending time with her family, biking, and hiking. Like Emma and Isabel, she has donated her hair four times. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Andrew, and her two dogs, Lilly and Buddy.

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Shennen Bersani is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, and has had two million copies of her illustrated books cherished and read by families throughout the world. She brings a unique blend of realism and heartfelt emotion to her art. What further sets her work apart is the warmth and personality that shines through in every image.

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