“Miscarriage, stillbirth and the death of a baby are not topics people like to discuss, and most people are especially reluctant to talk to small children about such sad events. But children can be as much affected by these things as their parents…” Siobhán Parkinson
ALL SHINING IN THE SPRING: The Story of a Baby Who Died
author: Siobhán Parkinson
illustrator: Donald Teskey
Little Island Books (3 April 2021)
Matthew lives with his Mummy and Daddy and his beautiful cat, Jack. And now, they have happy news….a new baby will be born in their family. When they told Matthew, he was so excited. He’s really looking forward to being a big brother, asking loads of questions and planning all the things he will do with the new baby. But suddenly one day, something very sad happened. Their baby wasn’t growing properly…it won’t be strong enough to live when its’ born. Matthew cried a lot; and Mummy cried and Daddy cried and Grandma and Grandpa cried…everyone was sad. And Matthew really didn’t understand how this could happen to a baby. When the baby was born; a baby boy they named Daniel; it wasn’t a happy day. It was a day to say goodbye. In time, they won’t feel quite as sad all the time. They will still cry from time to time and sometimes it will help them feel better. And when the bright yellow flowers shine up at them in the spring…they will remember.
This is such a beautiful book, written in simple, clear language to help young children through such a difficult time. It gives voice to all the confusion and heartbreak that happens with the loss of a baby from a childs’ perspective and really expresses an acceptance and healing that families need at the time. Throughout the pages, eloquent ink and wash illustrations echo the tone and give a moment to pause and absorb the emotion behind the words. It is so very important to find a way to talk to young children about the death of a baby and give words to their grief; to help them come to terms. Yes, this is a sad book, but it is also a book that gives great comfort and reassurance and not just to young children. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a baby; who is experiencing the loss of a baby with find solace in its’ pages.
Originally published in 1995 (by The O’Brien Press), this very special, very moving book is based on the authors’ own true story of loss. It may have happened a long time ago, but this is a story that happens to families everywhere, all the time. And when it happened in Siobháns’ family, she needed to find a way to talk about it to her young son. She went looking for a book to help, but a book couldn’t be found. So she wrote one. It became her first published book, intended to reach out to children and families who experience the loss of a baby.