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Reading My Library

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Matters

Robin Ballard is a children's author and illustrator who is, quite frankly, rather hard to gather information on. I can tell you that she attended the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City and now lives with her family in Switzerland.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of her books, initially, but our library had a whole stack of them and so I thought I'd just as soon point them out to you in case you ever find yourself in need of them. For dealing with life and family issues, I thought Ballard handled material such as divorce very tastefully. Some children's picture books scare me with how much detail they put into the story telling. In my opinion, Ballard's illustrations are warm and inviting and present an idea or concept in such a way that allows the adult reader of the book to explain however much or however little detail they would like to the child that they are reading to. Because of that, I feel that these books are worth a little (or a lot of) notice. I appreciate them because they give authority to the parent or adult reading the book to the child and the author herself does not assume a role of familiarity with the child. Instead she provides a tool. THAT, I think, is the nicest thing that Ballard could possibly do for children going through life changes. I found absolutely nothing objectionable in a single title and appreciated her for her simplicity. Check out her titles (if you need 'um):

Gracie (No image available) - Gracie has two homes. One with her mother and one with her father. She misses each parent when she is away from them, but feels loved in both places.

Good-bye, House - A young girl and her family are moving away from the only house she has ever known. She walks through the house saying good-bye to rooms and memories.

My Day, Your Day - A young child is learning about what it is like to go to school and live a separate day (away) from their parents. While mommy/daddy are off at work, the child is engaging in other activities with other children. They come back together again at the end of the day, but they have separate activities.

When I Am A Sister - I'll assume this one is self explanatory!

I Used to Be the Baby - A young boy gets a baby brother who can't really play just yet and cries a bunch. He reminisces about the things he used to do and the way he used to be treated when he was a baby. And he learns to accept and help out his baby brother, engaging in the role of the big brother instead.

Really, I do think these books are quite tasteful and I liked them. Definitely worth looking into when any life change is happening in a young child's life. Two thumbs up from this mommy and a thank you to Robin Ballard!


  1. Good to know! I'll file it away under future references!

  2. These sound like a great resource for parents and good books for a library to have on hand!

  3. I'm not familiar with these at all. Terrific post. I moved all of the time when I was growing up. I certainly could have used a book to help get through the trauma!