Friday, March 26, 2021

"Pockets Full of Rocks" - a bookwrap



A tender story about depression. 


Pockets Full of Rocks: Daddy Talks About Depression 

by Yair Engelberg
Illustrated by MacKenzie Haley


* Ages:  4-8
* Grade Level:  K-5
* Hardcover:  32 pages
* Publisher:  Magination Press
* Pub. Date:  Jan. 5, 2021
* Language:  English 


"Engelberg, a psychologist, pens a simple and compelling story of parental depression... Haley illustrates depression with dark clouds, adding layers of texture to brighten the clouds and present depression in the story as an illness, not a villain. By the end, Ella's understanding of Daddy's behavior transforms the clouds of depression into a rainbow of hope... Hold tight to this gentle story about depression."-- "Kirkus Reviews"

Unwrapping Some Illustrations for You

The Book

Ella is a sweet little girl who is very concerned for her Daddy.  He always seems sad and struggles to get out of bed in the morning.  She tries to encourage him to get up and offers him antidotes, such as a bandaid and fresh baked cookies to help him feel better.  Her Daddy explains to her that he suffers from depression.  Having it causes him to feel unhappy and very tired.  He tells her that he feels like he has rocks in his pockets which weigh him down so he cannot function properly each day.  He explains that with therapy, exercise and his loving family he can manage it most times.  By giving her Daddy lots of attention and hugs she is imparting hope and strength from her heart to his.  

The colourful illustrations are wonderfully done and will spark conversations and illuminate this very difficult subject. The illustrator depicts the depression as dark clouds which stalk and want to overtake Daddy.  Ella witnesses the clouds of despondency turn into rainbows of hope and happiness.  The author includes further information for parents, psychologists and mental health professionals at the end of the book.   I highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS! 


Meet the Author

Yair Engelbergis a psychologist who is certified by the Schneider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Training Program for Child and Youth Therapy. This is his picture book debut. He lives in Israel. Visit him at

About the Illustrator

MacKenzie Haley is an illustrator, runner, and cat whisperer who currently resides in Louisville, KY. She has her BFA in illustration from the University of Dayton, and is represented by Advocate Art. Her clients include Harper Collins, Cottage Door Press, Page Street Publishing, Albert Whitman & Co, Highlights Magazine, Magination Press, Oxford University Press, Apples & Honey Press, The National Center for Youth Issues, Worthy Publishing, and Storytime Magazine. She’s completed three full marathons (slowly), fostered about twelve cats (not at the same time), and has two codependent cats named Booger and Abby. She has drawn her whole life, and flunked a math test in the third grade because she turned the test over and used the entire time to draw characters and faces out of numbers.  She loves including small, interesting details in her work, and uses bold colors, patterns, and textures. 

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