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Books Reviews

The Garden of Hope

The Garden of Hope

About the Book

Author: Isabel Otter

Age Range: 3-5 Years

Publisher: Caterpillar Books

Price: £6.99

Review

Parental absence, be it the result of family breakdown or bereavement, is a sad fact of life and every early years setting will encounter its effects.

Losing a mum or dad is tough whatever your age, but it is especially difficult for children under five, so providing support is essential.

With care, a sensitively written picture book can offer a means of exploring the emotions involved – and thus help limit the long-term impact on life chances associated with adverse childhood experiences.

The Garden of Hope, written by Isabel Otter and illustrated by Katie Rewse, is ideally suited for the role.

It tells the story of Maya, a little girl struggling to cope with the loss of her mum; after her dad explains how planting seeds and helping them grow allowed her mum to overcome her worries, Maya sets about reviving a neglected garden and creates a place of hope and happy memories.

Usefully, the book makes clear Dad’s feelings too, highlighting to children the fact that struggling with grief is normal.

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