Saturday, April 11, 2015

Children's book for children of sick parents

What does Super Jonny do when Mum gets sick? by Simone Colwill, illustrated by Jasmine Ting

When parents get sick children often feel confused, angry and helpless. Some children want to do something to help but feel there is nothing they can offer. They also feel overwhelmed with all the specialists that are helping their Mum or Dad and don't know what is going on.  Radiation Therapist Simone Colwill has tried to address this with a children's picture book.

Jonathan is a superhero and his latest mission is to help his mother who is sick in hospital. He finds out what all the specialists are doing to cure his mother. There's a doctor finding out what is wrong. Jonny offers him his magnifying glass. The radiographer takes x-ray pictures so they can see inside Jonny's mum. Jonny gives her his x-ray vision binoculars to help her. We also meet a laboratory assistant, dietician, nurse, cleaner, and find out what they do to help his mother, only no-one is listening to Jonny. He wonders if he should do something different. He thinks of several superhuman ways to help her but it is one simple but very powerful thing he can do that will help her feel so much better.

The paperback book is A4 size drawn with pastel colours. Jasmine Ting has illustrated the book with cartoon-like characters that are outlined in black. This helps to lighten the serious underlying message in the book, which is - the professionals are there to help your parents and your hugs and love are all your parents need to feel better.

At the back of the book are guide notes for the classroom, as well as five tips on how to prepare for hospital admission. There's also a website parents can go to: www.sickmom.org.  I wondered if the book targeted Americans with the spelling of Jonny and mom - it looks like it was published in the States and they're targeting the international market.

Recommended for parents with sick children or for parents who are sick themselves and want to help their children understand what is going on. It will help the children understand who does what and realise the power of love. I'm not sure if I would use it in the classroom, though, unless someone in the class was going through that problem. Teachers could perhaps use it in the health curriculum when studying 'helping others' and wanting to encourage 'empathy'.

Available as an ebook from Amazon for $4.99 or in paperback for $19.95 online here.

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