Reviewed by: Monidipa Fouzder
Author: Helen Victoria Bishop (illustrations by Simon Murray)
Publisher: Atlantis Children’s Books
Looking sadly at a picture of his father, young Jack asks his cat: ‘Why did daddy have to leave?’ He wonders if the arguments and shouting were his fault, and that maybe he could have been better – cleaned his room, not been so grumpy or done all of his homework. The cat speaks to Jack, reassuring him that the situation with his parents is not his fault, and offers practical advice on how to cope with his parents living in separate homes.
While there is plenty of literature available for adults on dealing with a break-up, the same unfortunately cannot be said for children. So author Helen Victoria Bishop, who has practised family law since 1999 and is a member of Resolution, should be praised for dealing with a tough issue in a sensitive and thoughtful way.
The illustrations by Simon Murray may at first seem simple but are just as beautiful and moving as the words. Jack may not seem like your typical children’s book, but that is what makes it so special. It may only take a few minutes to read, but Jack stays in your mind.
Monidipa Fouzder is a sub-editor for the Law Society Gazette