Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce
By Cornelia Maude Spelman
Illustrated by Kathy Parkinson
Albert Whitman & Co.
Chicago, Illinois, 1998
Reviewed by Laura Harting
This is one of my all-time favorite books about divorce for preschool and early elementary school children. Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce focuses on what is most important to the young child. The young child needs to have his or her feelings acknowledged and validated, needs to know what is changing and what is staying the same, and must be reassured over and over again about who loves them. This book hits the nail on the head in all these areas. Written from the perspective of the youngest bear in the family, Dinah shares what she likes, her sad feelings, and her adjustment to Mama and Daddy’s divorce. The illustrations are perfect for a young child, with the members of Dinah's bear family having a distinctive resemblance to cuddly teddy bears.
I have read this book to multiple children and every child I have read it to likes it and finds it relatable in some way. Mama and Daddy Bear’s Divorce always creates conversation and often allows the child to express feelings and ask questions. Many children have asked to take this book home after we read it together. It gives me so much pleasure to grant that request.
Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients at her office in Paoli, Pennsylvania.