Authors

  1. Stiekema, Jennifer L. CPNP-BC, MS, RN

Article Content

Why Buttercup Wears a Bag is a short 28-page storybook for children. It has friendly illustrations and an engaging cast of friends: Buttercup, Elliott, and Squiggs. The story of Buttercup is one that aids in the normalization of ostomy bags and ostomates (i.e., individuals with ostomies). The book appears to be appropriate for children with or without an ostomy, children preparing for their ostomy surgery, and children who have a sibling or friend with an ostomy or about to get an ostomy-the application of this book is endless in the world of pediatrics. It is a book that parents can buy for their own home use or healthcare providers can buy for their professional use in the education and counseling of their patients.

  
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The story begins with a glimpse of a day-in-the-life of Buttercup. We see Buttercup wake up and go about a normal morning routine: going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, and eating breakfast. Buttercup is then ready to go outside and play with Elliott at the park. Together, they begin playing on the playground and are greeted by a new friend, Squiggs. Squiggs has never seen an ostomy before and expresses curiosity about the bag that Buttercup is wearing. Buttercup then explains simply that the bag is an ostomy that his doctor put on him when his belly got sick and his bottom stopped working. Buttercup goes on to explain that, regardless of the ostomy, Buttercup can play the same way that Squiggs and Elliott can. Squiggs and Elliott accept Buttercup, ostomy and all, and they all play together in the park!

 

We learn that children, ostomates and nonostomates, are amazing and can learn, have fun, and be strong no matter what. Nothing, not even an ostomy, will get in the way of a child achieving their dreams! This book is a beautiful reminder to children to not let their medical conditions get in the way of them doing and being whatever they set their mind to, and an ostomy is only something that makes you unique, not incapable.