by David Pitcher, illustrated by Rachel Fuller - £9.95 CoramBAAF (2009)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781905664726 | ISBN 10: 1905664729
Poppy’s panda has always been with her – but now he is lost! Is he in the toy box? Is he underneath the bed? Is he in the wardrobe? As Poppy searches high and low for her favourite toy she remembers all the times her panda has been with her. Will she ever find him again?
This beautifully illustrated book for young children (aged three and above) explores transition, loss and change and the importance of maintaining continuity in a child’s life. The book is accompanied by practical guidelines for adults reading the story with children that provide examples of questions and statements to encourage and initiate interaction.
Most children experience change: perhaps a move of school or house; the arrival of a new baby brother or sister; the death of a relative; or the separation of parents and a change of partners. All change can cause confusion and uncertainty. For some children, especially those who are adopted or placed in foster care, there may be a change of main carer and of everything that is familiar.
It is important for all of us to have a sense that our life is one continuous story that includes all the people who have been important to us, and all the experiences we have had. There needs to be a “thread of continuity” running through our lives. Without it we can feel disconnected and fragmented. Changes and moves are not always explained to young children – or if they are, the explanations do not always make sense to the child. It can be difficult for adults to talk to children about how they feel at these times of transition. In this story, Poppy’s thread of continuity is represented by her panda.
The way that Poppy’s panda is lost and then found will help children to work through anxieties about attachment in a way that feels safe. The book will have particular meaning for children who are fostered, adopted, or who have experienced other major changes, including the loss of a parent through bereavement or divorce. The story will also help children who have not had to deal with major changes to understand other children they may know.
Every child will bring their own understanding to the story and ask their own questions, but all children will be delighted and reassured when Poppy’s panda is finally found!
(Price & availability last checked: February 2017)