When Sam starts going to child care, he spends his day sitting next to the window waiting for his mother to come back. When she drops him off each day, he cries. Then Maria and Mummy come up with a surprise for Sam – a bright treasure box with reminders of home – a photo of Mummy, a little blanket and a tiny teddy bear – inside. When he plays with the treasure box Sam feels warm inside. Soon he grows used to child care and even enjoys his time there.
Tears in a Treasure Box is a story about separation anxiety and comes with a free booklet explaining this anxiety and strategies for dealing with it. The picture book is intended to help children beginning child care and also offers parents and carers an example of coping with this transition.
The use of minimal colour in the early illustrations to emphasise the grey mood of Sam is a nice technique, and highlights the bright colours of the treasure box and the mood it evokes. There are some minor grammatical errors in the text – it would be nice to see mummy given a capital ‘M’ and the word ‘too’ appears as ‘to’ in one sentence – but the intent of the book, to provide a positive message about child care, is met.
A useful tool for parents and for carers.
Tears in a Treasure Box, by Eleni McDermott, illustrated by Suzy Brown
Ages to Ages Publications, 2002
Ages to Ages Publications provides quality picture books, adult workshops and articles that inspire, inform and enhance the quality of children’s relationships with significant adults. Find out more at www.ages2agespublications.com.