Thursday, 26 February 2015

Book review - Astro Is Down In The Dumps, by Susan Day

Susan Day's Astro books are all charming, but this one is something special.

Designed to educate young children in defensive strategies against depression, the book follows a day in the life of Astro, a dog who has become depressed. Astro's dog friends arrive to visit him, and each one describes a technique that can be used to overcome or prevent depression.

The theory behind Astro's friends' suggestions is all very sound, and the verse format, as well as being quite delightful, will go a long way to ensure the lessons learned remain in a child's memory. The technique of 'teaching verses' is a very old one, and it's old because it is effective.

The illustrations are plentiful, suitable to the text and well done, and there is just nothing to criticise about the work, particularly when one reaches the end and finds an activity sheet that can be used by each child to reinforce what has been learned, personalise it to his own situation and create a ready-made action plan for himself to use should he ever fall prey to depression.

This is a truly wonderful resource for any parent. A gift that can help to make your child proof against one of the most frightening threats of modern life.

In the back matter, I learned that proceeds from the sale of this book will be used to fund a project to provide copies to every school and library in Australia. I hope the project succeeds, because it is a truly valuable book and should be disseminated as widely as possible.

Astro Is Down In The Dumps, along with Day's other books, is available from AMAZON and SMASHWORDS

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