|Family Changes: Explaining Divorce to Children|
by Dr. Azmaira H. Maker
Dr. Azmaira H. Maker, a clinical psychologist with twenty years of experience in child development, presents a fantasized tale of young Zoey Bunny who must deal with the divorce of her parents.
A "Note to Adults" starts the book providing information to parents, or other care givers (teachers, therapists, grandparents,etc.) about sharing this book with young children (ages 4-8 is the recommendation). The book ends with a list of questions to discuss with the child / children following the reader. Although the questions are presented as follow ups to the reading, they would be best used as a discussion starting point. I would recommend reading through the questions prior to sitting down with the child to read the book so you are familiar with them. Don't go through the questions immediately after reading. Use them as a springboard for conversation and not a quiz to see how well the child listened to the story.
Although a variety of emotions (sadness, anxiety, loss, confusion, and anger) are mentioned in the initial note, I didn't clearly see all of these emotions represented in the story. This is not a criticism, just an observation. It is very important to realize children of divorce have no control of their situation. They need to understand their feelings and emotions are valid and should be acknowledged accordingly.
When Zoey questions Mama Bunny about the words separation and divorce, she is presented with a very open and honest age appropriate definition of the two words. I am a bit concerned the words are used interchangeably. It might have been best, since this book seems to focus on the initial stages of the separation, to simply use the word separated. As the story progresses divorce could have been brought into the conversation as a means of explaining the permanence of the situation.
I reviewed the electronic version of the book. The illustrations I saw in the electronic version were bright, colorful, and would be very appealing to young children. They seemed sporadic in the format I read. I feel full page illustrations across from the text on each two page spread would make the book more appealing to young children, especially because of the difficult topic.
*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Aspiring Families Press has provided a complimentary electronic copy of Families Change: Explaining Divorce to Children for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is strictly my opinion.