My 7 year old and I recommend this delightful tale of hope and inspiration. It is about a dog who is laid up with depression and how his friends rally around and engage Astro in activities to cheer him up.
The beautiful illustrations (also by Susan Day) of dogs dancing and wearing clothes and headphones made us laugh and fit well in the light-hearted writing style which deals with this serious topic. We also enjoyed the rhyming prose, with its variety of words such as zeal and flawed.
It is a fun read with great intentions and I wish the author the best of luck with it.
NB: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Astro is Down in the Dumps is a children's book written in verse and has great fun full-colour illustrations. Astro is so sad he can't get out of bed. He is visited by his friends and each one tells him what they do when they are feeling sad. Rocky writes in his journal, Indy runs and plays outside, Stella talks to a friend, Digger eats fresh food, Dotty dances and Alfie paints. They convince Astro that there are ways of coping when you're sad and skills you can learn to help.
This book was written after personally losing a loved one and dealing with that tragic loss. It was also driven after hearing of so many youth suicides. What if these kids could become more resilient? What if they learnt coping strategies? What if they learnt these things before they became teenagers and had a skill base they could draw from when their lives seemed to be getting out of control.
This book is aimed at 5 years and older. If the children can't read by themselves this is the sort of book an adult should read to them. There are worksheets included that encourage the child to further explore ways they can cope with depression and anxiety. They also offer a great discussion point at home and in the classroom.
You can find the book on Amazon and Smashwords, plus there is a heap of extra information on the website.