It’s Ok To Be Happy! by Ta’shay Mason, Tanya Cauley (Illustrator) – BOOK REVIEW – RWYK CERTIFIED GREAT READ
Congratulations to Ta’Shay Mason for writing such a beautiful book!
It’s Ok To Be Happy! is our latest Certified great Read!
LET’S HAVE A LOOK AT THE BOOK BLURB
Jazmine was able to say goodbye to her daddy at his funeral, but she still has so many questions. Why did her Daddy die? How can she move on without him? And is it okay to be happy again? With Mommy’s help, will Jazmine find a way to remember her daddy and still live her own life? Or will she be sad forever?
A Child’s Journey Through Grief series follows a little girl processing her grief over the death of her father. The series is being told from the little girl’s perspective. We follow her in the first book of the series But I don’t want to say GOODBYE!, as she is trying to figure out how to say goodbye to her father while her mother prepares for the funeral. The themes in the book deal with expressing emotions, non-traditional funerals, and remembrance of a loved one. The second book “It’s Ok To Be Happy!” continues to follow her journey as the little girl tries to navigate through life without her father. The themes in the book deal with support groups for children, equine-assisted therapy, different ways to remember a loved one.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ta’Shay Mason, a Texas native, served sixteen years in the U.S. Army, obtained her master’s degree in social work from University of Texas at Arlington, and is a licensed social worker. She currently works at a Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Center as a social worker helping Veterans with mental health and substance use issues. She is also a volunteer group facilitator at a grief counseling center for children whose parent(s) has died.
Ta’Shay started writing to share inspirational stories with others and she began with the most painful event in her life, the death of her father. With the help of her family (including her military family), therapy, volunteering, and dealing with her emotions, Ta’Shay was finally able to say goodbye and wrote her first children’s book, But I don’t want to say GOODBYE! which was released this year.
Death is a very sensitive issue and is much harder to address with a young child who has had such an experience. Often adults find it a slightly uncomfortable subject. It’s Ok To Be Happy! by Ta’shay Mason is the second book in A Child’s Journey Through Grief series that provides a good solution, to what could be an awkward topic to approach. We have already reviewed the first book of the series But I don’t want to say GOODBYE! that covers a range of possible reactions and emotions from the perspective of a little girl who has just lost her father and isn’t ready to say goodbye while her mother puts together a funeral to share nice stories and celebrate her father’s life. The second book continues to follow the little girl’s journey as she is trying to live a life without her father. It explores the difficult feelings and emotions of saying goodbye and missing someone very much.
The book suggests various ways to remember the loved one like creating a memory book for them, doing their parent’s favorite thing, and joining a support group to express their feelings. This book is a really good resource to use during R.E lessons to explore the subject of death. Death is not a subject to hide away from or ignore, children want to be heard. Children who may have had these experiences may after hearing this story feel slightly reassured in the fact that it’s alright to move forward. It creates a sense of understanding of the world, its life cycle-that life goes on and with that, we can create new memories, not necessarily replacing the old ones or forgetting them. With beautiful illustrations and child-friendly language, this book is a lovely resource for offering reassurance to children who have experienced the loss of a parent.
Overall, this book deals with grief in a very clever and sensitive way.
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