________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 21 . . . . June 21, 2002

cover Can I Catch It Like a Cold? A Story to Help Children Understand a Parent's Depression. (Storybooks for Children Series).

Gretchen Kelbaugh. Illustrated by Coral Nault.
Toronto, ON: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (33 Russell St., Toronto, ON, M5S 2S1),
2002.
22 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 0-88868-416-9.

Subject Heading:
Depression in men-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-4 / Ages 6-9.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

exerpt:

"Everybody gets sad at times. But when it's really bad and lasts a long time, it's depression. And some people get depressed easier than others," she said. "Many things can cause depression. And what causes it in one person can be different from what causes it in another."

Alex's dad suffers from depression and refuses to attend any of his son's soccer games or to contribute to household chores. When Alex, eight, finds a sympathetic ear in 12-year-old Anna, he discovers that her mother, too, gets depressed. Through their candid discussion, Alex learns that he did not cause his dad's depression, that there are people in the community who can help both him and his dad deal with this illness and that depression can be cured. Alex seeks further help from his school counselor and a psychologist. The story has a happy ending: Alex's dad is feeling better and has even come to a couple of Alex's soccer games.

internal art

     Kelbaugh uses settings that are familiar to youngsters - home, school, soccer field - and writes in kid-friendly language. The sentences, for the most part, are short and clipped, somewhat detracting from the text's fluency (although probably just right for the intended audience). Though the story does what it has set out to do, its happy ending is a little too predictable.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.

 

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

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