Review Blog

Jan 05 2016

My mum has depression by Nina Mitchell

cover image

Ill. by Piet van Rosmalen. Self-published: www.nutsaboutnina.com.au (to buy copies of this book)
Recommended. Themes: Mental Illness; Depression. This sensitive picture book gives an insight into depression for a young child and his mother. Using appropriate metaphor the mother explains to her child what depression feels like for her. Then she explains some of the small ways that her child can help her. The child's perspective is only briefly touched on, 'I love it when Mum smiles'. But this in itself speaks volumes. The reminder at the end of the book is that whatever the circumstances, his mother is still his mother, is part of the gentle therapy of the book.
The Illustrations are delightful with clever use of bright colours. The Mother's depression is indicated with sombre tones, but hopeful and bright colours are never far away when the child is present. This clever symbolic use of colour keeps the book hopeful.
This would make a good resource for School Counsellors or Pastoral Care Workers as it would open up discussion with young children about depression and could perhaps be used to explore a child's feelings and emotions in response. A young family struggling with depression might also find it useful in sharing their own responses.
Carolyn Hull

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