Thursday, March 5, 2015

Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide

Last week had a the wonderful fortune of being a part of the Nerdy Book Club's post - Books That Make Us Cry (Part Two) Collect by Donalyn Miler. When tasked with locating a sad book, or book that makes us cry, I immediately came up with a number of titles that have made me cry while reading them and long after - interestingly the first two that came to mind were dog related - Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls), Old Yeller (Fred Gipson), Where the Lilies Bloom (Bill & Vera Cleaver), The Fault in Our Stars (John Green), and 13 Reasons Why (Jay Asher), just to name a few. Although these are all great books, and I highly recommend all of them, along with a box of tissues, I wanted spotlight a new book. One that make me cry for an entirely different reason - the need for such a title.
luna's red hat
Luna's Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help
Children Cope with Loss and Suicide
by Emmi Smid
Cover Not Final - Release Date: April 21, 2015

I could not think of a sadder book to share than Luna’s Red Hat. The extended title – An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide, immediately caught my attention. The story is beautifully told from the viewpoint of young Luna on the one-year anniversary of her mother’s death. Luna’s father allows her to express her feelings while explaining her mother’s death was not her fault, nor was it her mother’s fault. Only one phrase alludes to the possibility of Luna’s mother taking her own life, “Normally Mums don’t stop living when they want to and you have every right to be angry” (page 18 of the eBook provided by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, February 26, 2015). I believe if the title did not have the word suicide in it, the sentence would simply be a child’s view of loss through death.
Emmi Smid accurately portrays the child’s mood throughout with a mixture of bold and muted colors. The roll and flow of the text across the page helps to demonstrate the ups and downs of Luna’s emotion. A guide for parents follows the story with information from bereavement specialist Dr. Riet Feiddleaers-Jaspers. It includes how children understand death, how to inform children of a person’s death, and possible questions to expect in the days following a parent’s death. What could be sadder than to know there is a niche this book fills? Thankfully this book will soon be available to those who need to share it with children who have to face such a difficult time in their young lives.

*To comply with the guidelines set up by the Federal Trade Commission, Jessica Kingsley Publishers has provided a complimentary electronic copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.