Mac and Cheese and the Personal Space Invader

Jolene Gutiérrez (Author)  Heather Bell (Illustrator)

Mac and Cheese are the class guinea pigs, and Oliver is their biggest fan. He loves taking care of them and learning about them. Oliver is a very scientific kid and carries around a notebook to write observations and sketch things he notices. He’s struggling to make friends, though, so he watches Mac and Cheese because they’re the best friends he knows. He sees them snuggling and cuddling with each other and assumes that to be a good friend, he’ll need to get cuddly with his classmates. With the help of his classmates, teacher, and a hula hoop, Oliver learns about personal space.

Why is Mommy Crying? -explaining early pregnancy loss to young children

I. Cori Baill, M.D. (Author) Heather Bell (Illustrator)

One is often at a loss how to engage with those in grief, whether adult or child. Because miscarriage affects about a third of pregnancies, most readers likely know someone who has experienced this sadness. This beautifully illustrated, inclusive, nondenominational picture book helps recipients of every age know that the door is open, and a caring person is on the other side. Written by an experienced physician, Why is Mommy Crying? comforts in the context of family and the larger universe. Young ones are also helped in navigating their fears. The young protagonist, Max, uses his imagination, and accompanied by his stuffed animal, Mink, begins to understand what has made his mother sad. His imagery and ideas offer a gentle springboard to discuss with children and the adults who love them the broader concepts surrounding grief and recovery. The author acknowledges nondenominational religious language is employed in the explanation to the child. And hopefully the story can lead to further discussions around values and beliefs in addition to its primary objective of a loving story offering condolence.