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

by Emmi Smid

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This story begins with Luna, a little girl who lost her mother to suicide a year ago and is still dealing with anger and sadness. Her dad tries to help her understand that her mother’s suicide wasn’t anybody’s fault, and it wasn’t her mother’s fault either. She has lots of questions she needs answered and her dad is there to help her through.

Suicide is something you hear about often and many have experienced first hand with a family member or friend. It’s never easy and explaining it to children can be challenge as they have many questions in their little heads. Why? How? Didn’t they love me? It’s never easy to explain or understand, even as an adult.

In the past, I lost a friend to suicide. Recently, the death of Chris Cornell became known to my family. I’ve been listening to Chris since I was a young teen and his death hit me hard. My kids, knowing who he is, had questions as well. They didn’t understand. It’s hard to explain to them, especially when they start asking questions about how he did it. Help for parents is found in the back of the book as a bereavement specialist writes to briefly explain how to handle these questions from children.

I found the book very helpful. I thought the illustrations were powerful with showing the emotions of the characters and I believe this book would be good for many parents, teachers, counselors, and children dealing with a loss due to suicide.

5***** ( )
  Mischenko | Nov 30, 2017 |
(ARC was provided to read and review.)

It's one of the first warm days in spring and Luna is in the park with her favourite red hat, which was her Mum's summer hat.
It's such a beautiful day, but Luna isn't happy, she feels angry, confused and sad, as it's a very special day for her. One year ago her mother, who suffered from depression, committed suicide and wee Luna still has to come to terms with it.
Her Dad tries his best to help and cheer her up. Expecting her to be in the park, he turns up with her younger brother and a picnic basket.

Luna has lots of questions and worries. Will her Dad leave her too? Why couldn't the doctors help? Was it her fault? What if she was less naughty?
Her father listens to her concerns and tries his best to answer and to make her feel better and safe. "Your Mum loved every day, she spent with her lovely Luna." he says.
Luna starts to feel a bit better and she and her father visit her mother's grave with her favourite flowers, which were daffodils.

At the end of the book is a helpful guide for parents by bereavement specialist Dr. Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers.
He gives advice, how children understand death and points out, that talking honestly and openly about it, is important. Children have to feel, they are taken seriously and not left out. If the child is a bit older, it will ask all sorts of questions, some which we might not like to hear or think of, but it's important for them, that we try our best to answer and help them to comprehend.
And it's important, that the adult who has been left behind, reaches out for help too, as otherwise the child will feel that it has to look after the parent.

The wonderful illustrations tie in very well with the story. Luna's emotions come across perfectly and in a way children will easily understand. Luna's anger hovers as a black cloud over her head and when she feels sad, even the words tumble towards the ground. On the other hand, the warm colors of the red hat and the yellow daffodils offer a tender ray of hope.

Someone close to us committing suicide, is still the unthinkable and very shocking, but it does happen and if it does, books like this one are extremely helpful and I find it important, that they exist. ( )
  MasterReadersBooks | Apr 17, 2015 |
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It is a beautiful spring day, and Luna is having a picnic in the park with her family, wearing her Mum's red hat. Luna's Mum died one year ago and she still finds it difficult to understand why. She feels that it may have been her fault and worries that her Dad might leave her in the same way. Her Dad talks to her to explain what happened and together they think about all the happy memories they have of Mum. This beautifully-illustrated storybook is designed as a tool to be read with children aged 6+ who have experienced the loss of a loved one by suicide. Suicide always causes shock, not just for the family members but for everyone around them, and children also have to deal with these feelings. The book approaches the subject sensitively and includes a guide for parents and professionals by bereavement expert, Dr Riet Fiddelaers-Jaspers. It will be of interest to anyone working with, or caring for, children bereaved by suicide, including bereavement counsellors, social workers and school staff, as well as parents, carers and other family members.… (more)

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