Sunday 17 January 2016

Living with Mum and Living with Dad: My Two Homes

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Written & illustrated by Melanie Walsh
Walker Books 2012, this edition 2013
Reviewed copy from my resource shelf at work.

Back of book:
My mum and dad don't live together any more so sometimes I live with my mum and sometimes with my dad.
A book about separation for very young children.
"A warm and reassuring way to explain a difficult situation, with bold vivid illustrations."

See below for more about this book....
Missus B says:
Living with Mum and Living with Dad: My Two Homes
is a simple, charming book about parental separation or divorce. Written from a child's perspective it explains in clear, positive language , what it's like to live between two homes. 
Melanie Walsh
sometimes I live here, with my mum and cat in our house with the pink door...
(reader lifts up large flap)
and sometimes  I live with my dad, in our flat, right at the top!
The narrator describes her two bedrooms, each decorated to her personal liking:
'I chose yellow walls for my bedroom at my mum's house....and flowery wallpaper for my bedroom at my dad's.' She explains how she has some toys in her mother's home and some toys in her dad's-but, like any child- her favourite toys go with her, no matter what home she's at.
Melanie Walsh
With it's bright pictures and large flaps, readers can have a lovely peep into two homes. This book is not just about the living situation though, it also describes some of the other practicalities involved when you're parents don't live together e.g collection from school, or special events like birthdays and school performances.
Melanie Walsh
On my  birthday my mum made me a cake...and my dad took me bowling.
When I was in my school play....(open the curtain flaps)
my mum and dad both came to watch me.
The narrator explains that if she is missing either of her parents, talking on the phone helps. She also points out that, no matter what her living circumstances are, she feels loved by her parents and all of her extended family.
Melanie Walsh
This is a sweet and simple story, with attractive, bright pictures and inviting flaps. A comforting read for children who need to know about separated families, it  explains the subject in basic terms.It's matter-of-fact manner  introduces family change without delving into the emotional factors. 

The book describes co-parenting in a positive way and for any child who reads it, it highlights how parental love and care can stay the same even if living circumstances change. 

Readers will easily relate to the book's character and the parent/child interactions within it. As part of the SPHE/PSHE curriculum, the book can open up discussion while acknowledging that family units, roles and types can be varied and diverse.

I love the vivid, chunky blocks of colour and the child-like drawings. The text in large, clear font is easy for emergent readers or children transitioning into independent reading.

You may also be interested in other books I have listed on my 'Families' page including 'Mum and Dad Glue', a rhyming story about parental separation.

Free download for parents produced by Barnardos & The Family Support Agency (Ireland) Parenting Positively Coping with Separation for parents of children between 6 and 12
Free download for children here: Coping with Separation for Children aged 6 to 12

Book available at the below affiliate links:

Happy Reading,
Missus B

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