Sunday, February 14, 2010
Living with Mom, Spending Time with Dad
Living with Mom, Spending Time with Dad by Colleen Robley Blake is a children's picture book that truly gets into the head of a child whose parents are getting divorced.
Alex has fond memories of the happiness his parents shared with each other, with him, and with his brother Stephen. When Dad is forced out of the house by Mom, Alex is confused, hurt, and angry. He also can then remember their fighting, the frustration, and the fear.
To help Alex feel better, his family tries to give him gifts and have him speak to a therapist. It doesn't help that Stephen is feeling the upset, as well. Mom also tries to reassure Alex that he isn't the only child who has had to go through this. But it doesn't seem to help.
As time goes on, the separation from Dad becomes a little easier. After all, the boys can still talk to him on the phone and see him on weekends, holidays, and birthdays. But Alex never stops hoping and praying that his parents can make it all work out and get back together. He longs to have his family in tact.
This book is written in an easy-to-read rhyming format that lends itself to being read aloud. The verbiage speaks to the true feelings of a child whose parents are divorcing. The illustrations vividly portray the sadness and confusion of the child of a divorcing couple. One of my favorite illustrations has Alex standing in the middle of a swirl of memories, fading in the background. Another has him standing between two trees, staring off into the sunset. These clearly demonstrate the swirling confusion and feelings of isolation felt by these children.
This is a book I would recommend for children whose parents are getting a divorce, or even for those who have gone through a divorce. These children will easily relate to the story and emotions.
Another plus to the book is the series of reading comprehension questions found at the end. The questions will engage the reader with the story, making him think about what he is reading, as well as reinforcing good reading habits. Then, the follow-up questions about advice a child would give to Alex, as well as writing a response to the reader's feelings about the story, can be a great way for a child to work through his own problems.
Purchase Living With Mom, Spending Time With Dad
A review set of galleys was provided by the author.