Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Can't Want To

I Can’t Want To by Michelle Shillings is the story of a young boy whose parents are divorced. The book starts when Mommy picks him up from Daddy’s house. He is happy to see her, but sad to leave Daddy, and that makes him mad. He is conflicted in his feelings, no matter what happens. The confusion is very frustrating, so he lashes out in anger.

Mommy finally pulls him aside and explains to him that it is okay to miss Mommy when he is at Daddy’s house, and to miss Daddy when he is at Mommy’s house. It is okay to feel angry that his family is broken up. The situation they are in is a sad one and he is going to have a lot of hurt feelings. It’s important to let them out.

This book is one that is meant for children whose parents are going through a separation or a divorce. Ms. Shillings wrote the book because her son, Roman, was having all of these confusing emotions during her divorce from his dad. She was looking for a way to explain his feelings to him, while letting him know that these feelings were okay. It is her hope that these words can help another child going through a similar situation.

The story is told from Roman’s point-of-view, which should echo the thoughts of other children. The illustrations by Brenda Lovejoy perfectly capture the emotion being expressed in Ms. Shilling’s words. I like how she uses a mix of pictures of Roman’s face, as well as the physical representation of his anger in his discarded belongings.

Parents should read this book with their children, whether they are the father or the mother. They also need to talk about the book with their children, asking how he feels, or if he feels the same as Roman. They need to remember that the children are being impacted by their decisions and their fighting. Also, if the children are acting out, it could be because they are unaware of how to properly express their conflicted emotions.

Purchase I Can't Want To

I was sent a review copy of this book for the purposes of an honest review.

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