A child imagines ways to make his mother’s sadness go away in this touching picture book by debut author Williams, featuring illustrations by Ark.
Mama can heal with a kiss and cure sadness, and her child sees her as being full of magic. Together, the two pretend to be superheroes or fairies or wizards. But sometimes Mama can’t smile; it’s as though a dark cloud is hovering over her, sapping her magic. The child wants to help; to do so, the youngster becomes a fairy, a wizard, a fan dancer, a superhero, an inventor, the sun, and a unicorn. But imagining only takes the child so far: “I’m only me,” the young one admits. Ultimately, a hug helps the mother, if only a little, giving the story a hopeful ending. The poetic, child-friendly text tackles hard-to-discuss ideas about mental health and depression, acknowledging that it’s not the child’s job to fix it and embracing the hope that one can help just by being oneself. Ark’s gorgeous digital illustrations are informed by her watercolor experience, and the merging of the child’s sunny magic and the mother’s dark cloud is beautiful.
A touching, useful way to approach a difficult issue that should find a home among families, in libraries, and in school counselors’ offices.