A picture book offering the point of view of twins offers affirmation and comfort to young children of separated parents.
Described as a “self-help book” for young readers, this work by Baier (My Little Inspirational Book, 2010), a grandmother of nine, is aimed at a specific audience: children facing the profound change that divorce brings and all the confusing, distressing emotions accompanying that situation. In clear, age-appropriate language, Baier introduces the subject with a first-person narrative from a young twin’s point of view, moving from a cozy dynamic (“We were a very happy family”) to dad’s departure, which leaves both siblings feeling “mad, sad, hurt and ashamed.” The author then addresses her audience directly, emphasizing “it is NOT your fault” and “you will be o.k.” Parents separate for many reasons, she asserts (leaving it at that), none of which have to do with their children. This doesn’t make the kids different—divorce happens to many youngsters, Baier notes. This explanation is framed by a picture of smiling girls and boys. (The uncredited cartoon-style illustrations—of diverse children and adults—are a colorful but unmemorable hodgepodge comprised of images that seem culled from several sources.) And, if children become overwhelmed by sad and angry feelings (“or if you want to hurt someone or yourself”), it helps to talk to a trusted adult about those emotions, the author advises. According to the back cover, Baier wrote this book based on the trauma she shared with her young twin brother that gave her firsthand experience with a child’s need to know without question that when parents separate, it is not because the kid did anything wrong. This no-frills but worthwhile work ends with the important lesson that although routines will be altered, the love that parents feel for their children will not disappear. Baier includes a blank page inviting children to draw a self-portrait under the heading “I Am Very Special and OK!”
An effective, if visually undistinguished, tale with a straightforward message of reassurance for children affected by divorce.