FICTION

The Princess and the Fog: A Story for Children with Depression

illus. by Lloyd Jones. 48p. Jessica Kingsley. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781849056557.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 3—An age-appropriate look at depression. Though this picture book opens with "Once upon a time," this is far from a typical princess book. The title princess loves to read books, ride horses, and play outside with her friends. Everything begins to change, however, when a fog, symbolizing depression, creeps in. Slowly, the princess feels sad and lonely, no longer enjoys the activities she once did, and doesn't want to leave her palace or see her friends. Her well-meaning parents try everything they can to make her smile, but nothing works. Eventually, a friend asks the princess if she wants to talk. By discussing her feelings, setting up daily challenges, and receiving advice from various people, the princess begins to feel better. The people in her life and the advice that she receives also help her deal with the dark clouds when they return. This title effectively conveys what depression feels like to children. The fairy tale-type story and the striking, dynamic illustrations, which use color to indicate the princess's changing mood, make a heavy topic accessible. A special author's note is included for caregivers on helping children with depression.
VERDICT A good option for educating children about mental health, and a solid choice for caregivers who are struggling with depression and want to educate the younger members of their families about the topic.

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