“The Loss Total” was born as a poem and remains so in this newly minted Book Six of Kelly Anne Manuel’s Childhood Classics. In this story the Child is invited on a healing journey where there loss is personified as a fictional visitor known as the Loss Total. The narrator models a coping technique as an example for the Child dealing with grief of any sort.
“The Loss Total” offers a standing invitation to the Child. The Child will learn that others also experience loss and they can utilize Nature to assist with healing. It allows them to explore their emotions, such as confusion and distress, that grief ushers into their young worlds. It is an example of how imperative it is to process the thoughts and feelings that uncomfortable matters provoke.
The simple words take on new meaning as the illustrations pair perfectly with their presentation. The Child will observe illustrations that match the serious tone of the story. It is important that the art match the conflict presented and resolved by the narrator. The illustrations are meant to support and reflect the interior struggle that these situations create.
Children learn how to handle loss and grief by observation. It is important for their literature to address this reality with coping mechanisms and empathy for their struggle. The author intends this book to be a launch pad for discussions about grief, loss, and suffering. These are all areas that deserve to be explored frequently as the Child ages.
It is in Early Childhood that futures are being constructed. “The Loss Total” is a tool in a Caregiver’s toolbox to assist with that healthy formation. The idea that resiliency is formed during these early years is embraced by the author. The Child who reads this book will be rewarded with a healing layer of support from Nature as they navigate grief and loss of any sort.
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