CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 3. . . .September 26, 2008
Boog the Bug, Cynthia Genaille's debut children's book, deals with the complicated subject of divorce and separation. The book describes the observations and feelings that a young bug named Boog experiences as his parents separate. Eventually, and after taking "a long time to get used to," Boog realizes that his parent's separation was not his fault, that there are other mommies and daddies like his that can't get along, that his parent's separation made many things better between them all, and that his parents "still loved Boog with all their heart."
The obvious strength of Boog the Bug is that it provides a tool for parents, teachers, and school councilors to provide a non-threatening story through which discussions about parental separation/divorce can be initiated with young children. Although children may not identify directly with that of the insect-protagonist, they may very well identify with Boog's fears and worries about the cause of their parent's fighting and/or separation. Astute parents, teachers, and counselors may find a child's identification with Boog's feelings the perfect springboard from which they can help the child process her/his feelings and understandings about parental fighting, separation and divorce.
Keith McPherson has been a primary and elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in BC since 1984 and is currently the coordinator of the Language and Literacy Education Research Centre at the University of B.C.
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