Monday, April 26, 2010

A great children's book with a good message

William G. Bentrim’s latest book What About Me? really hits the mark in dealing with a child’s mixed emotions when a sibling is ill or hurt. Most children have experienced the feeling of being left out but it’s doubly hard when they’re left out by their own family. This can happen when there’s illness within a family and it’s very upsetting and confusing for a child. Often beyond the child’s control, jealousy and anger results, causing more problems for the family unit already under stress.

What About Me? deals with this situation beautifully. As parents we’re so involved with the child who is ill or has been hurt that we tend to spend less time with the well child. We try to explain what’s happening but we’re already stressed so don’t have the time our healthy child needs. And, of course, we assume the child understands since his or her brother or sister is ill. It’s difficult for the parents to juggle the different types of needs of both the ill and well child.

The well child loves his or her sibling but feels alone and possibly some guilt about the ill sister or brother. Besides the “neglect” the child is feeling the phone calls, cards, gifts and attention keep pouring in – for sister or brother. It can be a lonely and sad time for any child. This book helps children understand that parents still love their child even if they don’t have the time to show it the way they normally do.

The story is enjoyable for children to read but it also teaches a good lesson – for both child and parent. The illustrations beautifully show the emotions that Bradley is going through as he deals with his feelings over Bonnie’s broken leg. This adorable book is good for any child as he or she will most likely experience this at some time during childhood. I highly recommend William G. Bentrim’s What About Me?

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