By Marcy Blesy, Illustrated by Amy M. Kuhl Cox
Bronze Man Books, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main Street, Decatur, IL 62522
978-0981959139, $ 12.00, 2012, 48 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
Comfort for Children Dealing with the Loss of a Parent or Loved One
Marcy Blesy draws from her own childhood loss of a parent as she tells the story of seven year old Grace in her book “Am I Like My Daddy?” Grace is learning to cope with the loss of her father by expressing her feelings of grief through journaling, by learning how others deal with grief, and by asking questions about her Daddy in hopes of discovering more about who she is in the present.
Amy M. Kuhl Cox skillfully captures the essence of Marcy’s intent through magnificent colorful illustrations depicting Grace’s Mom providing physical contact, taking time to answer Grace’s questions truthfully, and helping Grace express her feelings through verbal expression orally as well as through a journal. Conversations with her aunt and grandmother help Grace understand that people deal with grief differently.
The narrative, illustrations, journal entries, questions, and responses all offer natural opportunities for adults and children to dialog openly about the feelings experienced by the child throughout the various stages of grief.
The recent multiple funerals of the young victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut bring questions of how to help children cope with grief to a whole new level as counselors respond to the emotions of grief to the victim’s young siblings and their classmates.
Marcy Blesy’s “Am I Like My Daddy?” looks at grief from a different perspective, yet many of the same issues are applicable to any child dealing with grief. Grace’s search for comfort, her confusion in expressing the feeling of grief, and loneness all come to light in her story as she wrestles with these issues in a search for answers.
Am I Like My Daddy? offers comfort to the child who has lost a parent or loved one through death.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are my own.