EK Books, 2020
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
The little girl loved to do things with her dad – special things like taming wild animals, flying high in the sky and climbing rocky mountains. But now that’s all changed because her dad is sick with an illness that no one except a special doctor can see. And he might even have to go to hospital to get better. However, her mother is wise and she knows and explains how there are different things that the girl and her dad can do together while he gets better, maybe not as exciting as sailing stormy seas or drinking tea with the Queen, but just as important so their love stays strong.
This is a story that will resonate with many of our students as one in five adults experiences depression in their lifetime, so many will understand and empathise. Together Things helps young children to understand that, while it is okay for them to feel mad or sad about this, sometimes they must do different things together while their parent focuses on their mental health and getting better.
Just as we are now paying attention to the mental health of our students, so too must we help them understand that they are not alone if there is such illness in their family and that they are not responsible for it. Sharing this story and talking about how common the issue is will help those kids seeing it firsthand realise that they are not alone and that there are many ways to show and share love.