A Blue Kind of Day
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
Coen is having a blue day. Not one where all he wants is his blue clothes, blue food and blue toys. But s slumping, sniffling, sighing, sobbing kind of day. A day where the only safe place to be is curled up in a blanket cocoon and so that’s what he does.
His family thinks they know how to cheer him up. His dad wants to go outside and play, his mum tells her funniest joke, and his little sister shares her favourite teddy. Nothing helps. But one by one, they quieten and begin to listen. After some time, space, and reassurance, Coen is able to show them what he needs. And being aware, smart parents they give it to him…
Childhood depression is more and more on the radar and particularly following the enforced isolation of the last two years, so this is a timely book that helps parents understand that this is something more than just feeling sad and disappointed that can be shaken off with distraction. Tomlinson, a registered psychologist, follows the story with notes about how to alert parents to the condition, that it has physiological symptoms and how they can support their child through an episode. In her dedication, Tomlinson says, “To all the children finding their way through big feelings: I see you. You’ve got this.” And often, just that acknowledgement for the child’s feelings is enough and that like Coen, they begin to believe that they will come through to the other side and tomorrow will be brighter. To know that you know and you have faith in their ability to cope and continue is a huge step in the healing process.
Sometimes we suggest parents casually leave a particular book lying around in the hope that their child will read it – this is one that the child might like to leave out for the parent.