How Sprinkle the Pig Escaped the River of Tears (Hidden Strengths Therapeutic Children's Books) ISBN: 9781785927690
Kuo, Ching-Pang, Westcott, Anne, Hu, C.C. Alicia and Ogden, Pat
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017
This series of books by authors trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy emphasise the bodily attributes that happen when children are mistreated or experience trauma of any sort. Sprinkle, a small pig, has lived a happy, cosy life with big pigs, Koko and Juju. When he is taken to live far away with a new family, he finds himself in a very different place. Starting a new school is another challenge, and on his very first day, he tries to make friends with a rabbit called Bomji and a cat called Spotty; in the process of doing so, he accidentally bumps into Bomji hard, and when Bomji is rude in return, Sprinkle runs away. As he slows down far away from school, 'his eyes felt hot and they stung. His throat began to squeeze tight.' And with 'a deep feeling of missing home', he begins to cry. He remembers Koko's hugs and feels very angry, and the more he cries, the worse he feels. He cries so much and so long that a river forms and poor Sprinkle is soon floating down it, holding onto a log. A monkey on the bank sees what is happening and guides Sprinkle to the shore, where he helps him out and tells him he is safe. The monkey sits quietly and patiently while Sprinkle rests, knowing that his peacefulness and even breathing will help the little pig feel better. Sprinkle begins to remember all the happy times with Koko and Juju, and as he does so, he feels all the warmth and safety of their love and concern for him come back. When he finally turns to see his comforter, Monkey says to him: 'When feelings can flow through us like the river, they can ease our hurts and bring warmth and hope back to our hearts.' And the little pig is, indeed, more hopeful. Koko and Juju's love is a hidden strength. We are not told why Sprinkle has had to leave his happy home, which is a good thing in this story as there could be any number of reasons, but with his deep attachment to his family, he can bring back happy memories when he needs them. The pictures are simple and reassuring, and there are activities for children as well as an explanatory 'Guide for Grown-ups' that gives lots of information about hidden strengths such as: crying for help; attachment to loved ones; finding comfort through our senses; and finding emotional courage to 'ride out' storms of feelings. A long section on 'attachment' is particularly useful. Available from Amazon, from good book shops and from the publisher: www.jkp.com.
Age: 4+