Stories that deal with grief are never easy to share with children but death is a part of life and picture books like this play an important role in supporting children who experience loss. Daddy’s Rainbow is kind, caring and gentle, making it an essential book to have on the bookshelf.
Erin’s daddy fills her life with colour. Grey days are perfect for splashing in puddles, bright blue days are spent at the beach, red and orange days are for crunching in leaves, finding conkers and toasting marshmallows, white days are for having fun in the snow. Even black is beautiful for Erin’s dad, ‘Stars can’t shine without the dark.’ But when daddy becomes poorly all of the colour drains from Erin’s life and every day is a grey day. Can Erin find the colours in the world again…
Losing a parent, especially as a child, is awful and books like this are valuable tools in supporting children through the grief process and letting them know they are not alone. Daddy’s Rainbow is a heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful story of one young girl who has to deal with the death of her daddy. Just make sure you have a box of tissues close-by before reading.
This story is raw and real, Erin’s colourful life is completely erased when her daddy dies and the colourful scenes make way for dull and lifeless greys. Illustrations of the empty passenger seat in the car and the empty chair at the dinner table are a sharp reminder of the hole that has been left in Erin’s life and the trauma that she must now cope with. Erin finds comfort, happiness and hope in a scrapbook - the blank pages of which she and daddy have filled with colourful memories of happy days. It is these memories that slowly bring the colour back to Erin’s life and although things will never be the same again they support mummy and Erin in moving on. All of this leads to the most fitting of endings, cue another tissue.
Powerful, poignant and deeply moving, Erin’s story is beautiful and offers a starting point for the most difficult of conversations.
With huge thanks to Bloomsbury for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 3+.