My happy sad Mummy by Michelle Vasiliu

cover image

Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. JoJo Publishing, 2014. ISBN 9780987358684
Highly recommended. Michelle Vasiliu's sensitively portrays the reality of living with bipolar disorder and the impact this has on family life. She draws from her personal experiences describing the up days of frenzied activity and the down days of crying, staying in bed or not moving from the couch. Mummy's moods and actions are seen through the eyes of her young daughter. When Mummy can't stop gardening, the little girl quietly falls asleep under a tree. She plays around the couch and seeks to make her mother smile by bringing an offering from the garden. Luckily, both mother and child are loved and supported by the husband-dad and the grandparents.
My happy sad Mummy is a valuable resource for families, teachers and health care providers, it explains mental illness in an empathetic and easy to understand manner. Lucia Masciullo's sensitive illustrations add a depth of understanding of the text. The front cover poignantly portrays the upbeat mum and the sad one with the little girl sitting in the fork of a tree caught in the middle.
Highly recommended for shared reading with families, classes and health care environments.
Rhyllis Bignell