A hot cup of chocolate by Rose Stanley

cover image

Ill. by Lisa Allen. Starfish Bay Books, 2014. ISBN 9780994100283
Recommended (especially for the Library of those who counsel young children). Family. Family Problems - impacts on children. Social and emotional development. Friendship. Johan lives in a stable family and he is introduced as a lover of hot chocolate. He befriends Henry who has problems at home. Initially this is only hinted at and might be seen by an adult, but not so clearly by a child. As the interactions between the two boys develop, it is obvious that something is not right at Henry's home and it boils over into the young friend's school life. Eventually it is revealed that Henry's parents have separated (with some hostility) and Henry faces good days and bad days. Counselling is required for Henry on the bad days.
This book appears to be written for those in stable family settings, to understand the dilemmas that some children face, and to explain why they might need to talk to someone. It is gentle, with the majority of the narrative talking about simple family 'normality' and hot chocolates. It is also about friendship, and what that might look like when a friend has struggles at home.
Carolyn Hull