It is not easy to write on subjects that are dark, complicated and have the message delivered to kids. But here’s one book that deals with difficult subjects like illness and death. It also talks of physical changes that an illness can bring to a parent and how it might affect a child?
Darkless by Tanu Shree Singh is captivating and more of a picture book and the illustrations make the book and the storyline more interesting.
The story is on little Ani and how the child is uncomfortable with darkness.
The child misses his mom who perhaps had left for a hospital due to an illness. Though the story doesn’t directly use words like cancer or major trauma, it’s still beautiful in bringing this aspect, a manner which kids can understand.
Darkless, written by Tanu Shree Singh, published by Penguin books, Puffin, is great for 4 to 7 year olds and a great read if particularly a child is undergoing a situation where a parent or grandparent is facing an illness and there are lots of conversations of hospitals, illness, medicines or even death.
The book is good for other kids who might not be facing such a situation but can be taught to be more empathetic.
A short excerpt from the book
“Mumma’s hair was gone. But she was home and nothing was dark anymore.
‘I was scared you’d never come back.’ Mumma held Ani. ‘ I am here now’, she said And so are Dobby, Nani and your friends.’
But…’Ani’s voice trailed off as he tried not to cry.
But..as long as you let others love you, you will be okay.’ she said.
Ani dug his face into her singing heartbeat and whispered, ‘ Even if you are not there?’
A gentle breeze kissed them both, as he dozed off mumbling. ‘Hair..your hair…Can I shave mine too?’
Mumma smiled and held him tighter.
Mums and Stories loved it and we give it 4 on 5
As mentioned earlier, the illustrations are very powerful in depicting the narrative and what adds up is the and even the larger book size which makes it more easy to hold and gives the story a certain character.