David is a young boy who is noticing some disturbing changes in his mom. She starts to stay in bed in the morning, and when she does get up she is quiet and withdrawn. His Grandma comes to cook for the family. David's dad tells him that his mom has a sickness called depression.
Eventually, things progress to the point that David's mom has to be hospitalized. While his mom is in the hospital, David's aunt and cousin come to stay at his house. He loves his aunt, but he really misses his mom.
David's dad tries to explain to him what is happening:
"Daddy told me the doctors and nurses were helping Mommy's sickness go away. He said depression is like a darkness that covers you up, and you can't see the light. 'Mommy is working hard to find the light again,' he said. 'She needs to be gone for a little while.'"
David goes to visit the same doctor that is helping his mom. She tells him that it is okay to feel "mad or sad or scared." Even though his mom is gone, David continues with his normal routine. His dad talks with his teacher about what is happening. His dad takes him to a museum for fun the day before his mom is scheduled to come home.
When David's mom comes home, he feels conflicted at first. At first he doesn't want to hug her, but when he runs to her, he loves smelling her familiar smell. She tells him that she has medicine to help her to not feel sad. Their pastor comes over to visit and talk as do David's grandparents.
When David sees his mom laughing and talking, he feels so good inside. He realizes how much he and his parents love one another.
What I Like: This book is written in a very compassionate way that children will relate to. It will make them feel that it is okay for them to feel sad or worried when something like this is going on in their family. I could see this book being appropriate for counselors or pastors to provide as well. The story definitely includes Christian principles, and teaches children that God is always with us, even when we are sad, mad, or tired. Even so, this book could be used in a secular setting.
What I Dislike: I don't dislike anything about this book.
Overall Rating: Very Good
Age Appeal: 4-8
Publisher Info: Herald Press, 2002; ISBN:0836191501 ; Paperback $12.99.
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