When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer by Carola Schmidt: Review by Joey Madia (playwright and teacher)

Here are excerpts from the thoughtful review by Joey Madia. (Please follow the links to read the whole of Joey’s article.)

“When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer is filled with photographs by Mark O’Dwyer, the author of the Mawson the Bear children’s series. Mawson—sort of a Winnie the Pooh, especially when considered through the lens of books like The Tao of Pooh—is a dreamer and seeker who is a big fan of naps and working with his equally inquisitive friends to explore just what it is that drives and fulfills us.”

“Written in simple, effective language, the book (Brave Bear) starts at initial diagnosis and goes through the various treatments one many encounter. The text and photographs work together to demystify complex ideas, soften the edge of what can be a scary idea through use of adorable bears, and to provide visuals of the doctor’s office and other venues.”

Three of the bears in the book read their copies. You can see Dr Caddy wearing her specs, patient Stiches in his dressing gown, and Nurse Bree.
‘You are not alone! Hold a paw, hug one another, makes friends with others on the journey.’ (Joey Madia)

About Joey Madia:
Please take a look at Newmystics.com to see more reviews by Joey Madia. He is a playwright, author, actor, and teacher. He is also artistic Director/Resident Playwright of Seven Stories Theatre Company. See more at www.newmystics.com. Joey also kindly reviewed Mawson Bear’s little book called Dreamy Days and Random Naps. See the link here.

Storytime Live on Facebook:
Joey’s and Tonya Madia do Live Facebook readings. Here they are reading When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. They do the different voices and show the pictures in the book. Take a look too at Joey and Tonya reading on Crayola Education for the Read Along- Draw Along which featured another book by Carola Schmidt, Bald is Beautiful, an inspiring and uplifting story about loving your bald, beautiful head. (In When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer, our little hero Scotty also has the fur fall out after treatment! But with help from Little Teddy he realises he is still a wonderful bear.)

And now a word from Me, Mawson’s Guardian (Mark O’Dwyer).
I and all the bears in our house helped to make the pictures in this book In the pictures on this post you can see Brave Scotty, Little Teddy, Big Gus in the laboratory, and Stitches, a patient in the ward with Dr Caddy and Nurse Bree.

About the Book:
And now a word about When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. The author Carola Schmidt is an award-winning author of children’s cancer books, and uses her experience as a pediatric oncology pharmacist to write scientific books for Springer Nature. You can usually find her on Twitter @_CarolaSchmidt. And you can find Scotty and his friends and Me, Mark, all over the bright web world including right here on this WordPress Den and at Baffled Bear Books.

Where to buy When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer: A Get Well Soon Gift:
Amazon everywhere, including Amazon UK and Amazon Australia and Brazil and Canada and India and Japan and Mexico and Sweden. Also Waterstones, Book Depository (with free shipping), Bookshop Org (supporting local bookshops) and Barnes and Noble.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is a Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and the Writer-Bear of Dreamy Days and Random Naps and of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  and She Ran Away From Love.

‘This little story made me well up. A lovely, poignant story with delightful illustrations.’ Jackie Law, Amazon Top 500 reviewer, about It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost in.

The book brings back such nostalgic memories that it made it comforting, like a  old security blanket.’  FNM Book reviews about Bright World.

When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer by Carola Schmidt: Review by Leanne


When a Brave Bear Fight Cancer a heartwarming book by Carola Schmidt and Mark O’Dwyer. This book breaks down the complexities of cancer. The text and images are simple yet informative making them accessible to readers of all ages!’

‘The explanation of tricky terminology is handled brilliantly and supported with brilliant visuals and images to support understanding. This is a great book to use with children who have been diagnosed with cancer or young children close to a family member diagnosed with cancer.’

The book is also positive and supportive and lets readers know they are special, unique and not alone. A fantastic resource everyone should invest in.”

What a lovely review. Thank you so much to Leanne. You can find her at @Lsignedstories on Twitter.

And now a word from Me, Mawson’s Guardian. I and all the bears in our house helped to make the pictures in this book You can see Brave Scotty, Little Teddy, Big Gus in the laboratory, and Stitches and Paddy who are patients too in the ward. Here is a picture of Scotty with Little Teddy.

About the Book:. And now a word about When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. Carola Schmidt is an award-winning author of children’s cancer books, and uses her experience as a pediatric oncology pharmacist to write scientific books for Springer Nature. You can usually find her on Twitter @_CarolaSchmidt. And you can find Scotty and his friends and Me, Mark, right here on this WordPress Den and at Baffled Bear Books.

More LinksAmazon UK and Amazon Australia and Brazil and  Canada and India and Japan and Mexico and Sweden and Amazon all over the place. Also: Barnes and Noble and more soon.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is a Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and the Writer-Bear of Dreamy Days and Random Naps and of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  and She Ran Away From Love.

‘This little story made me well up. A lovely, poignant story with delightful illustrations.’ Jackie Law, Amazon Top 500 reviewer, about It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost in.

The book brings back such nostalgic memories that it made it comforting, like a  old security blanket.’  FNM Book reviews about Bright World.

When a Brave Bear Fights Cancer by Carola Schmidt: Review by Mrs Wylie


I loved this book for many reasons. It tackles a subject that is very difficult to explain to children in an extremely sensitive way, with beautiful pictures. It’s bright and colourful photographs are the perfect illustrations. I’m a big fan of Mawson Bear books. The use of photos is so unique!’

‘As a cancer patient myself, I’ve thought a lot about what it must be like for children . It’s such a scary thing, but this book will definitely help calm some of those fears with it’s clear explanations. I would love to see copies of this book in every hospital that treats children with cancer.’

What a lovely review. Thank you so much to Book Addict. You can find her at @bookaddict.twlie68 on Bearagram (Instagram) and on Twitter.

And now a word from Me, Mawson’s Guardian. I and all the bears in our house helped to make the pictures in this book You can see Brave Scotty, Little Teddy, Big Gus in the laboratory, and Stitches and Paddy who are patients too in the ward. Here is a picture of Scotty with Little Teddy and Dr Caddy and Nurse Bree.

Me Scotland The Brave sitting with Dr Caddy and Nurse Bree. I am holding my own Little Teddy.

About the Book:. And now a word about When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. Carola Schmidt is an award-winning author of children’s cancer books, and uses her experience as a pediatric oncology pharmacist to write scientific books for Springer Nature. You can usually find her on Twitter @_CarolaSchmidt. And you can find Scotty and his friends and Me, Mark, right here on this WordPress Den and at Baffled Bear Books.

Mer, Scotland the Brave showing the wonderful book with Me in it .Its called When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer: A Get Well Soon Gift.

More LinksAmazon UK and Amazon Australia and Brazil and  Canada and India and Japan and Mexico and Sweden and Amazon all over the place. Also: Barnes and Noble and more soon.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is a Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and the Writer-Bear of Dreamy Days and Random Naps and of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  and She Ran Away From Love.

‘This little story made me well up. A lovely, poignant story with delightful illustrations.’ Jackie Law, Amazon Top 500 reviewer, about It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost in.

The book brings back such nostalgic memories that it made it comforting, like a  old security blanket.’  FNM Book reviews about Bright World.

For Such A Time As This: My journey through cancer. How love and my cats sustained, fortified me, and helped take the pain away, by Pauline Dewberry

“I sat in stupefied silence .. How could I possibly have leukaemia? How did I get it? Why did I get it? Was I going to die? If so, when?”

At the age of 56 Pauline Dewberry felt content with her life. She had sons and grandchildren, the company of six cats, projects and plans. Then she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

For Such A Time As This: My journey through cancer. How love and my cats sustained, fortified me, and helped take the pain away, by  Pauline Dewberry

“Hold it there”, you may think. “You’re suggesting I read a medical-term laden memoir of a cancer survivor?” Not at all. I’m recommending a story of faith, prayers, cats, purring, medical marvels, more purrs and unexpected friendships. This is a true story of great odds surmounted and of quiet daily courage. And remarkably, Pauline found ‘autumnal love,’ even at such a time as this.

Puddy cat one

Pauline describes her illness and treatment with such clear language that it is easy to comprehend. As well as being informative about AML, this candid account will be a valuable eye-opener, I think, for the supporting friends and family of anyone who is locked in a prolonged battle with ill health, not only with cancer.


“I asked what would happen if there weren’t any (stem cell) matches. I was told that they would just make me as comforable as they could and basically wait for me to die.” By the greatest good fortune, Pauline’s brother turned out to be a match. But there was a long road to travel after that.

Puddy cat 2

There are all kinds of trials that a healthy person (like me) would simply not realise an cancer patient is going through. For instances, maddening itches to endure, dry mouth, sleeping too much, then being unable to sleep, no appetite, then sugar cravings, nagging worries about changed appearance … On it goes.

Puddy cat 3

Health is not only about the body, of course, but about the strength of the spirit. The author’s fears and doubts will resonate, I think, with many people dealing with a long illness. Despite knowing that hundreds were praying for her, there were many days of despair.

But she also found humour in unexpected things. For instance, although distressed by the loss of her hair, she talks with good humour about the new headwear. Deciding that the scarves made her look “like a Russian peasant wringing her hands at a failed beetroot crop” she opts for her faithful beanie.

Puddy cat 4

Purr-atherapy’. As well as her faith, and the great good fortune of the stem cell match with her brother, Pauline valued her ‘Purr-atherapy’. She describes how her cats would curl against her at home and purr her through many dark hours. As time passed, each of her purr-ers died, sadly. But two new cats, Casey and Gibbs, introduced themselves into her life, and with their company the author is now in remission after surviving aggressive chemotherapy, the stem cell transplant, CMV, MRSA and Graft Vs host Disease (GVHD).

The Daily Mews is Pauline Dewberry’s popular website for cat lovers. With cat humour and jokes, caption contests, guest articles about cat care and cat antics, it is your ‘purrfect way to start the day.’ (Mawson’s guardian has been a reader of the dailymews.com for years.)

Puddy Cat 5

Where to find it: For Such A Time As This, by Pauline Dewberry, cover by Aida Marina: is listed at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and on Amazon Australia. and more. It’s about $3 on Kindle and in some regions its FREE to read with Kindle unlimited.

The author: Pauline Dewbery trained to be an editor and had many articles published in teen girl’s magazines. Pauline is a pet bereavement counsellor. Her Daily Mews website provides, among other things, a space to respectfully reflect on feelings of grief for our passed pets, for instance, in the tributes called “Napping on A Sunbeam”. You can contact Pauline at pauline @thedailymews.com or p dot dewberry @ntlworld.com

Landing On All Four Paws: The diary of a kitten called Ollie, by Ollie Cat

Another feature of The Daily Mews was “Ollie’s Diary”. now has a new book out which will delight cat lovers. Landing On All Four Paws: The diary of a kitten called Ollie, by Ollie Cat is now available on Amazon. Take a look. You will purr, you will blink tears, you will say, “Hmm, so that is what my cat is thinking.”

Puddy cat 6

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic, bibliophile and Guardian of Mawson Bear, a Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.

Meet Scotty, star of When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. Out now

You can see me being brave in a new book called  When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer: A Get Well Soon Gift, by Carola Schmidt. In the book, I’m a little bear who gets a bad sickness called cancer. Sometimes I am worried and often I am scared because cancer is scary, and always I am trying very hard to be brave. The book is to help kids feel much more brave, like me, when they are getting treatment.

It is illustrated by Mark O’Dwyer who is my Guardian . All the bears in our house helped. You can see Big Gus in the laboratory, and Stitches and Paddy who are patients too in the ward, and Little Teddy who is my very own teddy bear who I got for my birthday. The next picture is me with Little Teddy and Dr Caddy and Nurse Bree.

Me Scotland The Brave sitting with Dr Caddy and Nurse Bree. I am holding my own Little Teddy.

Here is the story of how I got my name. I was the first bear to arrive in Mawson’s house after Mawson. My job was to sit in the microwave oven and get warmed up. Then I would cuddle people when they were not well and make them feel warm and better. Mawson was amazed that I went calmly into the oven. 

‘You are so brave’, he said. ‘And I wear trews’, I said proudly. 

Mawson told me that everyone in Scotland is brave and it’s also where trews come from. So I became Scotland The Brave. Mawson assured me that people in Scotland don’t sit in microwave ovens, so I stopped doing it. Nowadays, I am brave in all kinds of other ways. I also deliver the post.

Me, Scotland The Brave with my postie hat and my truck
Scotland The Brave

Here’s me with my postie hat and post box and my trusty truck. You can see me again sitting in this chair when you look in the new book!

Scotty’s Guardian: Thank you Scotty. And now a word about When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer. Carola Schmidt is an award-winning author of children’s cancer books, and uses her experience as a pediatric oncology pharmacist to write scientific books for Springer Nature. You can usually find her on Twitter @_CarolaSchmidt. And you can find Scotty and his friends and Me, Mark, right here on this WordPress Den and at Baffled Bear Books.

Mer, Scotland the Brave showing the wonderful book with Me in it .Its called When A Brave Bear Fights Cancer: A Get Well Soon Gift.

More LinksAmazon UK and Amazon Australia and Brazil and  Canada and India and Japan and Mexico and Sweden and Amazon all over the place. Also: Barnes and Noble and more soon.

You have wandered into Mawson Bear’s web-den. Mawson is a Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and the Writer-Bear of Dreamy Days and Random Naps and of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In  and She Ran Away From Love.

‘This little story made me well up. A lovely, poignant story with delightful illustrations.’ Jackie Law, Amazon Top 500 reviewer, about It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost in.

The book brings back such nostalgic memories that it made it comforting, like a  old security blanket.’  FNM Book reviews about Bright World.

Cancer Daily Life, by Carola Schmidt, Illustrated by Rafael Antonio

Cancer Daily Life is a bittersweet collection of illustrations that readers highly involved in the C world can relate to, including friends and family of people with cancer.’ From back cover.

Our Scotland The Brave bravely gets chemotherapy while reading Cancer Daily Life by Carola Schmidt. It makes him feel not alone.

Reading Cancer Daily Life

This short, colourful picture book finds the odd things, the weird things, and even the ironic things can bring a guarded smile, during cancer treatment. It’s a little something you could give a friend who is going through cancer, especially when you are lost for words to say to them yourself. (This certainly describes me.) There are ironic reflections on the long days of feeling sick and lonely and terrible. There are little glimpses of the fears to be tackled and the fantasies conjured up during the hard hours of treatment. Recommended as a little splash of colour in the daily life of the “C” world.

Where to find Cancer Daily Life: Bookshop Org,  Amazon, and Book Depository.

Carola Schmidt, the author, is a Pediatric Oncology Pharmacist and author of several scientific books on paediatric oncology. She wrote Chubby’s Tale: The True Story of a Teddy Bear Who Beat Cancer, illustrated by Frederico Schmidt. Mawson and his friends reviewed it here. Carola also wrote Bald is Beautiful: A Letter for a Fabulous Girl, a book about ‘about love, beauty, happiness, and friendship when going through various changes in our lives ‘. Find it at Amazon and Abebooks.

Rafael Antonio is an illustrator for games, books and comics. To find him, plonk a paw down here for Twitter .

Mark, your host at Baffled Bear Books, is guardian of writer-Bear Mawson. Of Mawson’s book It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In ” was said, “Reading this book is like receiving a great big hug of reassurance and a huge hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows.” Review by Lady Bracknell. Of Mawson’s She Ran Away From Love was said, “‘A magical little grand tour into the meaning of happiness.’ Sharrie Williams, Author of The Maybelline Story.

For Such A Time As This: My journey through cancer. How love and my cats sustained, fortified me, and helped take the pain away, by Pauline Dewberry

“I sat in stupefied silence .. How could I possibly have leukaemia? How did I get it? Why did I get it? Was I going to die? If so, when?”

At the age of 56 Pauline Dewberry felt content with her life. She had sons and grandchildren, the company of six cats, projects and plans. Then she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML).

3 161

“Hold it there”, you may think. “You’re suggesting I read a medical-term laden memoir of a cancer survivor?” Not at all. I’m recommending a story of faith, prayers, cats, purring, medical marvels, unexpected friendships, and even a love story.


“I asked what would happen if there weren’t any (stem cell) matches. I was told that they would just make me as comforable as they could and basically wait for me to die.” By the greatest good fortune, Pauline’s brother turned out to be a match. But there was a long road to travel after that.

4 162

The author wrote this often raw account of her seemingly interminable – and near to actually being terminal – battle with cancer to share how ‘despite the odds being stacked up against you, it IS possible to look your enemy in the eye and win’.

Pauline describes her illness and treatment with such clear language that it is easy to comprehend. As well as being informative about AML, this candid account will be a valuable eye-opener, I think, for the supporting friends and family of anyone who is locked in a prolonged battle with ill health, not only with cancer.

The author does not shirk from telling of the moments of indignity and additional trials involved, especially while in hospital. For instance, a mid-night ‘simple’ procedure to remove a cannula by a doctor ‘who looked to be about twelve years old’ became an hours-long complication leaving her with bruises and stitches. I felt like I’d been to war. Who knew that hospitals could be such dangerous places’. And at home there were the the maddening itches to endure, dry mouth, sleeping too much, then being unable to sleep, no appetite, then sugar cravings, nagging worries about changed appearance … On it goes, all the things that a healthy person (like me) would simply not realise an cancer patient is going through.

5 163

Health is not only about the body, of course, but about the strength of the spirit. The author’s fears and doubts will resonate, I think, with many people dealing with a long illness. Despite knowing that hundreds were praying for her, there were many days of despair. Even simply telling people how sick she was turned into a struggle. Some reacted as if her illness was causing difficulty for them.

But she also found humour in unexpected things. The rumblings of her room-mate, Mr Fridge, for instance had me laughing. Although distressed by the loss of her hair, she talks with good humour about the new headwear. Deciding that the scarves made her look “like a Russian peasant wringing her hands at a failed beetroot crop” she opts for her faithful beanie.

6 164

As well as her faith, and the great good fortune of the stem cell match with her brother, Pauline valued her ‘Purr-atherapy’. She describes how her cats would curl against her at home and purr her through many dark hours. As time passed, each of her purr-ers died, sadly. But two new cats, Casey and Gibbs, introduced themselves into her life, and with their company the author is now in remission after surviving aggressive chemotherapy, the stem cell transplant, CMV, MRSA and Graft Vs host Disease (GVHD).

This is a true story of great odds surmounted and of quiet daily courage. And remarkably, Pauline found ‘autumnal love,’ even at such a time as this.

The Daily Mews is Pauline Dewberry’s popular website for cat lovers. With cat humour and jokes, caption contests, guest articles about cat care and cat antics, it is your ‘purrfect way to start the day.’ (Mawson’s guardian has been a reader of the dailymews.com for years.)

Puddy 2 160

The author: Pauline Dewbery trained to be an editor and had many articles published in teen girl’s magazines. Pauline is a pet bereavement counsellor. Her Daily Mews website provides, among other things, a space to respectfully reflect on feelings of grief for our passed pets, for instance, in the tributes called “Napping on A Sunbeam”. Another popular feature of The Daily Mews was “Ollie’s Diary”. When Ollie died Pauline decided, after some thought, to continue with the diary but with Ollie now reporting from beyond the Rainbow Bridge. She is currently preparing these diaries for publication. You can contact Pauline at pauline @thedailymews.com or p.dewberry @ntlworld.com

Where to find it For Such A Time As This, by Pauline Dewberry, cover by Aida Marina: Amazon UK and Amazon USA (under $3 on Kindle) and Amazon Australia (free right now with Kindle unlimited). Check your own Amazon Stores in Kindle.

Buddy 1 160

You are at Mark’s blog called Baffled Bear Books. Mark is a dark coffee tragic, bibliophile and Guardian of Mawson Bear, a Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears.