Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Luna's Red Hat (review)

Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope With Loss and Suicide
Author: Emmi Smid
Bereavement specialist: Dr. Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers
Publisher:  Jessica Kingsley Pub (To be released April 21, 2015)
Review copy courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

Luna's Red Hat is a beautifully illustrated and written book about a young girl grappling with her feelings after her mother's suicide.It is the one year anniversary of her mother's death, and she and her small brother and father are having a picnic. Luna wears her mum's red hat, but feels she cannot smile, because "Today is not a day for smiling" and cannot laugh, because "Today is not a day for laughing."

When Luna's father says she looks like her mum, Luna throws off the hat in anger and says, "I am nothing like Mum!" Her father helps her by accepting her anger, and helping her answer questions about why her mother would do this, and understand that it wasn't Luna's fault or his fault or even her mum's fault. He explains that she had an illness inside, and sometimes the doctors cannot help. Finally, he helps her see that they can celebrate the good times with her mother even when sad that she is no longer there.

Written for children 6 and older, the book is lovely and appropriate for this special need. It also contains a section at the end by bereavement specialist Dr. Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers on more ways to help a child in this sad and difficult situation.

Five out of five stars.

I have added a new category to this blog which I call Self-Help. These are books which help children cope with difficult feelings and situations. Both yesterday's Peace, Bugs, and Understanding and this book will be included, with more books added over time. I hope these can be a resource for librarians, social workers and parents who need books to help children with specific situations. Click on the Self-Help tag at the bottom of the post for all books in the category.

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