Children’s Bibliotherapy – by Jean Todesca

Jean Todesca is a children’s librarian at the Morrill Memorial Library. Read her column in the March 22, 2013 edition of the Norwood Transcript and Bulletin.

“Do you have any Children’s books about death?” This is one of the many challenging questions Children’s librarians are faced with. Bibliotherapy also known as Reading Therapy is the use of books to help guide children through life’s difficult experiences. Bibliotherapy is designed to provide information and insight, stimulate discussion and offer realistic solutions to problems. Children learn that there are other people who share similar problems.

The library has many offerings for parents and caregivers. The Children’s Department maintains lists of our materials by subject. Examples of topics are potty training, bullying, death, daycare and adoption. Titles are informational or in story form. We also have the ability to request further materials through the Minuteman Library network. A great example is The National Center for Death Education at Mount Ida College. It maintains a library collection that includes books, journals and audiovisual material concerning all aspects of dying, death, and bereavement issues. A helpful website is The Helping Books Connection, www.mercuy.edu.kent.edu/helpingbook/. Helping Books Connection is a resource center to help find and use quality Children’s and Young Adult literature. Their database provides access to reviews of both fiction and nonfiction books that focus on ethical and personal issues.

When you are tackling a problem with your child or teen the Children’s librarians are here to help. Please feel free to ask for guidance or request one of our book lists. Here are a few examples of our offering – Bullying : “Freda Stops a Bully” by Stuart J Murphy; Allergies: “The Peanut Free Café” by Gloria Koster; Differences: “It’s Okay to be Different” by Todd Parr; Separation: “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn; and Death: “Saying Good-bye to Uncle Joe: What to Expect When Someone You Love Dies” by Nancy Loewen.

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