Sunday, March 15, 2015

This Book is a Classic

It's Not Your Fault, KoKo Bear

By Vicki Lansky
Illustrated by Jane Prince
Book Peddlers, Minnetonka, Minnesota, 1998

Reviewed by Laura Harting

Illustration by Jane Prince
Written in the late 90s for the preschool and early elementary aged child, this book is a classic.  I don’t think it will ever go out of style.

Though the main focus of the book is to assure children that divorce is not their fault, it also addresses a child’s feelings, the difficulty of having two homes, and why parents divorce. KoKo Bear struggles with drawing a family picture at school and with forgetting things at Dad's or Mom’s house. KoKo Bear also shares mad, sad, and scared feelings and wishes they all still lived together. 

This is a book to read with your child. It asks questions to encourage discussion about feelings and there are plenty of helpful notes for parents in small type at the bottom of every page.  It is important to note that an emphasis near the end of the book is on telling KoKo Bear that they are still a family. While more recent books focus on the child now being a part of two families, this book states that MaMa and PaPa and KoKo Bear are still a family, just a family apart. 

I like how the book addresses feelings and why parents divorce. I like that it focuses on the divorce not being the fault of the child. I like that this is an imaginary family of bears, which maintains a helpful emotional distance for a young child. However, I found myself a bit confused by the idea that the family is still a family, only a family that lives apart. Perhaps your child will not find that confusing and may find it reassuring.

Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients at her office in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

No comments:

Post a Comment