My Daddy's Going Away ISBN: 9780857532114
Published by Doubleday Children's Books
While this story was written by a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army for his own children and the children of the many men serving under him, it will be invaluable for all families who include a parent who must be away for long periods of time. There is no sense that the family in the book is military based. In fact, they are aliens, and when dad goes off, he leaves in a space ship! In the introduction by HRH the Prince of Wales (whose charity Combat Stress is helped by this book), the story is called 'charming', and charming it is. 'My daddy's going away, you know. He says it's for a while. We'll miss our hugs and storytime. We'll miss his funny smile.' And so the saga begins that is so familiar to many families. There are coping strategies, though, such as writing letters and sending parcels, sharing phone calls, talking to mum and to friends when things get tough, and knowing that the children and their dad share 'the same warm blanket of stars above our heads'. And then there is the excitement of thinking about all the things the family will do together when dad gets home, not to mention the greater excitement of the homecoming itself. The illustrations have great delicacy, almost a fey quality, thus distancing the reality of dad's being away. A super book with the possibility of being really helpful in preparing children for an extended time without a parent.