A new book aims to help young children cope with the emotional turbulence of parental divorce.
Divorce Is The Worst by Anastasia Higginbotham explores the ways in which children experience a separation, the difficulties they face and the implications of their parents going their separate ways. Written for children aimed four to eight, it features vivid collage art, also by the author.
Higginbotham told Publisher’s Weekly that she had drawn on memories of her own parents’ divorce when she was 14 while writing and illustrating the book.
“For years, I have been carrying around this story, and it ended up becoming this book bearing witness to a child’s perspective on divorce.”
She chose collage to illustrate the book because it had seemed appropriate to the topic, the author added.
“I worked with ripped paper and skies cut in two because that’s how my parents’ separation felt to me. I wanted these collages to claim that experience for myself and other kids.”
Children caught up in their parents’ divorce commonly see the experience as one of “pain and loss”, she continued. She hopes her book will help readers to see divorce as a period of transition, “a rite of passage rather than a devastating moment.”
Divorce Is the Worst will be published on April 14.
It is the first in a planned series, to be called Ordinary Terrible Things, each of which will deal with common but potentially upsetting childhood experiences. Book two, Death Is Stupid, is due next spring.