Many children books are printed each month to amuse kids of varying ages. This colorful, hardcover children’s title Good-bye, Baby Max (Bridgeway Books, Texas, 2007) by Diane Cantrell & Heather Castles is special in its purpose of teaching an invaluable lesson: that of properly saying the final farewell to a loved one who is no more. The book tells the story of the unfortunate baby chick Max who doesn’t make it into life while his twins Dora and Spiderman appear healthy out of their shells. The kids, eagerly awaiting the birth of the chicks, are heartbroken over the death of Baby Max and so their teacher uses her wisdom and care to lead them toward the appropriate way of showing their love and expressing their grief.
The importance of involving children in mourning is increasingly being acknowledged by developmental psychologists since children do sense the loss no matter how much they are coaxed into believing that ‘everything is ok.’ By being left out with the ‘mystery’, their wee minds are inclined to conclude that something terribly wrong has happened; something that is not worth speaking. This sows the seeds of fear and detachment in their mental development. Being a Licensed Professional Counselor and former KG teacher, Diane Cantrell has created a very purposeful book for children-one that is at once a story, a poem, and a healthy course of helping children get over grief.
The book’s illustrations by Heather Castles are very appealing to a child’s imagination. There is a good deal here in Good-bye, Baby Max to learn for children ages 4 to 8 years and the 32-pages book is a must read for all kids of this age category.