Great news on Psyched Writer Blog this month! I have added categories linked to the topics of the book reviews/activity ideas. So, from now going forward, it will be much easier to find the topic you are looking for. I'm hoping this addition will make this blog experience much more user-friendly. The categories are listed on the right side of the post. Just click the category of interest and all of the book reviews/activities related to that topic will pop up. Check it out!
A Book Review of Emily's Blue Period
For example, if you are looking for a book on anxiety, you go to the "Anxiety" section and, VOILA, there are all of their books that address this topic in one spot! The books are mostly fiction and represent all age levels from adults to young children. Definitely, a bibliotherapist's dream! If you live in or visit the area, I definitely recommend checking it out in person. If not, their books are available for purchase on-line too! Check out their website here.
Emily's Blue Period is one of the books I picked up at Oh Hello Again in September! I knew going into the store that my blog was lacking books on divorce. So, when I arrived into the store, I went to the section on "Divorce" and, VOILA, this book was calling my name!
Emily's Blue Period is a picture book/early chapter book hybrid. It's divided into a few chapters and the length is a bit longer than a traditional picture book. However, it is full of beautiful illustrations. I would use this book for a wider range of children, specifically 4 - 10 year olds. The younger readers may need to read it in more than one sitting, depending on their attention span.
The author, Cathleen Daly, does a fabulous job integrating a love of art, facts about a famous artist and the experience of separation/divorce into one story. The art focus in the story, in addition to teaching kids a bit about art history, lightens up the intense feelings portrayed in the book.
The main character, Emily, wants to be an artist when she grows up. She is learning about Pablo Picasso in school and makes efforts to emulate him. After Emily's father moves out of their house into an apartment, Emily uses her knowledge of Picasso to help navigate her experience. She compares Picasso's art of mixing things up to her family being mixed up.
When Emily learns about Picasso's blue period, in which he was very sad and only painted in shades of blue, she relates and decides she is in her "blue period" also. During this time, her sadness comes through clearly in the book, as she refuses to participate in art class unless she can use the color blue. The book also brings in the strong emotions of Emily's brother, Jack, as he responds to the family situation with anger.
The climax of the story comes when Emily learns about collage in art class. The teacher assigns the class a project to make a collage of their house. This is sad and confusing for Emily as she does not know which house to call her own. With the help of her family, she learns that "Home is where the heart is," and eventually comes up with an idea. Emily creates a collage in a heart shape and integrates special things from her mom and dad's house on her one heart. She calls it the home of her heart. This activity is very therapeutic for Emily and marks the end of her "blue period."
The illustrations by Lisa Brown are detailed and in muted colors which fit the mood of the story. She uses a dull shade of blue throughout much of the book to accentuate the sadness that Emily is experiencing.
I highly recommend this book for children who are navigating through separation and divorce of their parents. The collage activity from the story is such a great therapeutic activity, that this is the activity I'm going to recommend this month.
Check out the author's website and explore other books by this author here.
An Activity Idea of Emily's Blue Period
This month we are going to create the same project as Emily in the book. It is an amazingly therapeutic idea for children of divorce, so I want to highlight it. This project is likely going to take more than one session.
-large paper roll
-glue stick and strong glue
-crayons or markers
-photos of parents, siblings, houses, etc.
-Collected reminder items from each home
that child would like to include
-cut out computer images if needed
-heart stickers (optional)
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