Inspired by our Picture Books for Talking About Death With Children post, I thought I would put together a few books which deal with deployment and separation for children whose parents are in the Armed Forces.
So to start with, the book which Lola and I read a lot – Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut and Vicki Wehrman. It is just gorgeous. It’s the tale of a child and their deployed father blowing the north star to each other every night, on the last night the father will come home with the star. Lola gets excited about the north star whenever she sees it and blows it to her deployed daddy. It seriously brings a tear to my eye. Gorgeous.
While You Were Away by Eileen Spinelli is unique as it deals with all three branches. There’s the sailor, the airwoman and the soldier. Beautifully illustrated and very touching.
My Daddy’s Going Away by Christopher MacGregor is great for military and nonmilitary separation, but does have a military bias which younger children will probably not pick up on.
I Miss You by Beth Andrews aims to encourage children to discuss their feelings and to draw their own pictures to express themselves. There’s an accompanying parents guide too.
I have found it difficult to find beautiful books that deal with separation for military families, especially ones which deal with just one of the forces. Most seem to be heavily Soldier based, which although fine, I personally would like to get my paws on some sailor based ones for next time the husband deploys. Do let me know if you spot any.