A Story About Parental Depression
Authored by Helen Bashford
Illustrated by Russell Scott Skinner
Unwrapping some illustrations for you...
An excellent book to blow away taboo. I wish I had had this book! (Fern Britton, TV presenter and author, with experience of post-natal depression)
Being a parent can be tough and I get so many messages from parents who are struggling away in silence. Quite often they are also struggling with their mental health. Depression is now so evident in our society and I think Perry Panda plays a vital role in explaining it to children. This little story was heartwarming and brought me to tears. What a lovely, thoughtful thing to publish. (Rachaele Hambleton, Part-Time Working Mummy (parttimeworkingmummy.com))
About the book...
Little Perry Panda has the best mom in the whole wide world. They chat, read books together and laugh lots. Life couldn't be better. But lately he finds she snaps at him for no good reason and sometimes cries at night making him worried and wishing he could see her happy once again.
Her behaviour continues and finally Perry sees no other alternative but to blame himself for her sadness and emotional turmoil. Maybe he displayed bad behaviour and that makes her cross at him and very sad. Where can he go to seek help? He goes to his beloved Grandma Panda and asks...
"Can you tell me why?" What is the bad thing I've done that makes my mummy cry?"
Wise and loving Grandma puts her little grandson on her knee, gives him a big-old fluffy bear hug and tells him it's not his fault, never to blame himself. Perry asks her how they can help make his mummy feel better. Grandma responds that perhaps his mummy needs medication, someone to talk to, lots more sleep or long walks through the hills to get away from her worries, just to name a few examples. She cautions him that sometimes healing takes a long long time and his mummy can't rush her feelings.
Perry ponders on his Grandma's words. Everything could take a long time .... mmmmm.... then suddenly he lets out an excited yelp because he has a short term solution that might just help her get better even quicker. I wonder what he discovered in his heart that will help her recover quicker and be back to her fun self sooner if he applies what he found? Any ideas? Love conquers all.
This book talks about depression and how it affects the entire family not only the one going through it. Written in rhyme the story is simply told so wee readers will understand the message. The illustrations are vibrant, colourful and add heart to the meaning of the words. The story is moving with the mission of helping others who may be suffering if mummy is not her happy self but feeling and acting sad and depressed.
The author has added a link to impart more information on the
subject if further support is needed: www.perrypanda.com. at at the back. The book is well written and can easily be understood by a small child and is a perfect catalyst for discussion on this topic.
Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS!!!!!
About the author...
Helen trained in Psychology and her career to date has been within mental health and learning disability services. Whilst working with families Helen identified an increasing need for children's books to help them understand mental illness in a relative, and after becoming a mother herself she began writing stories.
Perry Panda was written for young children whose parent(s) are suffering from depression, but additional books addressing diagnoses such as anxiety and bipolar are in progress.
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