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A New Shape
For When Parents Decide to Separate
by Anna Payne
Publisher:CWR (Crusade for World Revival)
Anna Payne, mother of three, uses her story-telling skills to write this book to deal with potential trauma experienced by children whose parents are about to split up. She deftly avoids the assumption that the adults in question are a married couple, by referring to them always as ‘mum and dad’.
Using the analogy of a tree, once sturdy and fruitful, but suddenly struck by lightning which cleaves its trunk into two, the author addresses the hurt that children may feel when the family splits.
In this well-illustrated story the wise old family friend, Theo, props up the two cleft pieces of the tree trunk with poles, and he assures the children that the tree is not dead, but will grow in a different shape.
This is not a book to be merely given to children facing parental split, but one to be shared with them by a sympathetic adult, be it parent or trusted family friend. The message is not only the hope of re-growth in the family, but also one of advice to children to find someone to whom they can express their feelings.
The three end-pages of guidelines for parents and families gives sound advice not only for children, but also for the parents themselves.
CWR’s strap line is ‘Applying God’s Word to everyday life and relationships.’ This book succeeds without once mentioning God!
Highly recommended for its sensitive approach to a highly charged subject.
Reviewer: Margaret Walker (25/08/12)