Today, a sweet and quiet book on dealing with Heavy Things:
Whimsy’s Heavy Things, by Julie Kraulis
Tundra Books, ISBN: 978 1 77049 403 9
Whimsy is encumbered by some “heavy things” that she needs to deal with, and she tries a few things through this book before she figures out that breaking them down into smaller, more manageable parts will help her get rid of them. This is, of course, a roundabout way of talking about doing the same thing with problems – looking at the component parts rather than the overwhelming whole.
It’s a nice approach, actually, in that it doesn’t need to label what the “things” are, focusing instead on her attempts to put them aside or leave them behind, and her ultimate discovery that she needs to parcel them out. This leaves the book free for interpretation so that it can be related to any “heavy thing” that may find itself weighing on a child’s mind, also giving assurance that other kids have these things, too.
It is a bit abstract, but of course, this is what parents as reading companions are for – helping make that bridge between text and life. The illustrations, too, convey mood well in muted tones and Whimsy’s facial expressions (see sample below), and the metaphor of the literal heavy things does work well here. For a family with some heavy things to process or for a child who has trouble working through feelings, this is quite a nice and simple yet sophisticated way to look at facing those things that weigh us down.
Also available as an ebook.