Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Big and Me"

Today's featured book: Big and Me

Miller, D. (2008). Big and me.  Australia: Ford Street Publishing. 

Big's computer does not work as well as it should and sometimes he goes wobbly. He makes poor decisions and that worries his friend. Big gets some help from the Mechanic and is given truck medicine to help his computer work better. Then Big feels fine and stops taking his medicine. Big must stay in the workshop for a while until he gets better, and he does.

Miller uses the friendship of two trucks to approach the topic of having a friend, parent, or loved one with a mental illness.
The metaphor (trucks in place of actual people) of Big and Me is a less threatening way to discuss mental illness with children. Adults sharing the book have greater flexibility in helping children to form a connection with the characters because there are no gender/age/race character barriers.
The text is easy to understand, some phrases are bold or have special font to stress particular emotions. The illustrations do not show a lot of emotion, so that is something to keep in mind when sharing the book with children.

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