________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 21 . . . . February 10, 2017


Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce. (Just Enough: Difficult Topics Made Easy).

Jillian Roberts. Illustrated by Cindy Revell.
Victoria, BC: Orca, March, 2017.
32 pp., hc., pdf & epub, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0951-2 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0952-9 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0953-6 (epub).

Subject Headings:
Divorce-Juvenile literature.
Separation (Psychology)-Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Kelsey Sukich.

***½ /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



What should I expect if my parents are separating or getting a divorce?

If your parents are separating or getting a divorce, know that change is coming, which can make you feel sad, scared, and even angry. These feelings are normal.

Knowing what to say to children when discussing separation and divorce can be difficult. In Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce, Dr. Jillian Roberts provides information as well as answers and explanations to common questions children may have about separation and divorce.

      Dr. Roberts, a former primary schoolteacher, is a child psychologist and professor of educational psychology at the University of Victoria. In her "Just Enough" series, she provides the reader with "just enough" information and explanations about sensitive topics for young children. The series was designed to empower parents/caregivers to begin conversations about topics that can be difficult to discuss with young children. Other titles in the "Just Enough" series include: Where Do Babies Come From? Our First Talk About Birth, What Happens When A Loved One Dies? Our First Talk About Death, and What Makes Us Unique? Our First Talk About Diversity.

      Cindy Revell's colourful illustrations capture the emotions that parents/caregivers and their children may feel from dating, to getting married, to getting separated and then divorced, and life after divorce. Revell's illustrations represent diversity, including multicultural wedding ceremonies (as well as a marriage of two men) and various ethnicities.

      The only slight criticism for the book is that the page that asks "What is separation?" and explains what it is also includes an illustration of a wife holding "DIVORCE" papers. The subsequent page states: "After a period of separation, a married couple may decide to get a divorce." This page includes an illustration of a wife carrying a bird cage and bird, as well as a suitcase. The illustrations would seem more suitable if they were switched for these two pages.

      Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce is an excellent book to remind children that it's not their fault if their parents decide to separate or divorce and that they are still part of a family. It also reminds them that it's okay to feel different emotions and that it's important to talk about their feelings with people they trust, and that the one thing that remains constant is the love that their family has for them.

Highly Recommended.

Kelsey Sukich is an early years French immersion teacher in the Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg, MB. As a daughter of parents who divorced when she was a young child, she personally values the comforting answers the Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce book brings to questions she once had about her parents' divorce.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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