Before I start full disclosure: I know both the writer and illustrator of this book. They are very good friends but they have not sent me this book for free nor have they asked me to review it. However, having read it – see below – I felt as though it was important to share my thoughts.
I backed the production of this book as a Kickstarter type project which didn’t quite make its target but did raise enough interest and support to get the book into production. As backers we were offered an opportunity to still support this privately which enough of us did.
What we backed was not a finished article but it was the passion and ability of the writer. Sonia. And the illustration skills of Jon. Knowing what the book was about and having a couple of the basic illustrations out there but without knowing the full content.
So when I received my copy this week it was the first time I had read it. This is the description of the book from Sonia’s Website where you can buy the book:
Bipolar disorder affects thousands of people in the UK, and many of them are parents. Sophie and Katie’s Mummy is one of them.
Discover some of the highs and lows of having a Mummy with Bipolar from a child’s perspective, in this gentle and thought provoking story of family life, suitable for children of all ages.
For families, schools, children centres, nurseries, libraries, mental health units and GP practices to use as a resource to support children and families affected by Bipolar. For children and parents to be able to sit together and read the storybook and then be able to talk about the subject.
Given that this book was designed with children in mind I thought there was no better way to read it than with my 8 & 10 year old daughters. I read it with them with the plan that it would open up conversation afterwards to see what they thought of it and what they now understood bipolar to be. If I was able to engage them with this subject and help them learn about this illness then the book would have achieved one of its main goals.
After one read through they both found it easy to understand and were in no way confused as to what was being said. They also both loved the illustrations which they thought went perfectly with the story.
Some images from the book:
She also thought that for something that was “probably a really hard thing for children to deal with, it was really easy to understand and not a big wordy book.”
My youngest picked out something that was really interesting which was that: “It was good to see that the children were allowed to still have lots of fun and treats with their mum. Even if she was ill. I hope they don’t forget that. ” and that: “I bet it is hard for children to know what they are allowed to say and to do when their mummy is ill.”
They both thought this book was really good at helping them understand a bit about bipolar. They especially liked the bear illustrations and thought this was a really good way of showing how one person can have very different sides of their personality.
It really was an effective tool to open up conversation with my children about bipolar and this book was a great starting point to have conversations around mental health and illness.
Personally, I can see this being an amazing book to have in your collection. I have not come across anything like this on this subject before and it doesn’t skimp on quality in anyway. I genuinely would recommend this book for parents, family members and those who work with children.
To order your copy now please go to the Mummy’s Got Bipolar page.