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What’s Good To Do – An honest review!

Image: www.whatsgoodtodo.com

Ivy And The Rock Book By Jess Childs Review

This book melted my heart for so many reasons. The author of this lovely book is Jess Childs and has been brilliantly illustrated by Heather May Williams who wrote the story for her 2 children to help them understand why her own Dad is no longer with them and how her Dad was her rock.   The story and illustrations are both lovingly heartfelt and written in such a beautiful and simple way; that helps and covers the subjects of love and the loss when loosing someone.  So much so, that it is much more comforting to young children.  It reaches out and really does touch your heart, along with your mind and soul.  Even if your child has not experienced the loss of a loved one as yet, this is a great story to read as it will help them to understand and even talk about.

My granddaughter has recently lost her great nanna on her mums side and whilst she’s 7.5 years old, she has struggled to understand why someone she loves so much is no longer around.  Since her loss, she has been very confused and everyone around her has been there for her, no matter how many questions she has asked.  After reading this book, she now understands her thoughts and feelings so much more now and talks about her great Nanna in such a different way.  The book has helped her parents and myself to explain her loss in a way we never thought of.

THE STORY

It is about a beautiful little girl named Ivy Jones who walks the path on a journey of adventure and most importantly, self discovery.  With the security from a rock she adores and loves so much, it gives her a lot of security, safety, trust and confidence.

Ivy has gorgeous blonde hair, dressed in a blue and white polka dot top, and a pink dress, along with brown bootie shoes.  She has gorgeous brown eyes, rosy red cheeks, a really cute button nose and her hair has a cute bun on the top of her head which is tied up in a bobble with green leaves and berries. 

The rock is beautifully illustrated with so many dazzling colours such as yellow, teal, purple and pink.  The way it is drawn even looks like it is sparkling.  Such lovely art work.

The story also makes reference and illustrates flowers such as pansies, snowdrops, hollyhocks, hibiscus and roses.  These played a very important part of the story for my granddaughter as now, when out walking, she says to me ‘look Nana, flowers, flowers like Ivy has and their roots will keep growing and look beautiful, just like great Nanna’. This melted my heart and naturally made me cry. I was so proud and uplifted by her own take on her loss and how she has taken the story of Ivy and the rock and made it a positive one.  She likes to draw the rock and calls it ‘great Nanna’s heart’. She even has her own drawing of it up on her bedroom wall and every day she says ‘good morning/good night great Nanna, I love you so much and I will always love you’.  Just some of the words she has taken from the story and uses herself.

I would absolutely and most definitely recommend this book for all the reasons I have covered above.

You can see the full review live here: https://whatsgoodtodo.com/ivy-and-the-rock-book-by-jess-childs-review/#

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12 Picture Books to tackle grief and death

Image: www.bookswithbaby.com

A really amazing line up here of children’s picture books to help little people deal with bereavement and grief in a variety of scenarios. Ivy is massively privileged to be included in this incredible line up from bookswithbaby.com.

Julia Donaldson’s ‘Paper Dolls’, Michael Rosen’s ‘Sad Book’ and Judith Kerr’s ‘Goodbye Mog’ take their place alongside lesser known titles broaching the subject of death with little ones, including ‘Ivy and the Rock’.

For Ivy’s part, the reviewer surmises that: “A parent is like a rock, giving a child solid support as they grow and a reliable place to return to. But losing them is a sad inevitability of life.  This is the experience of Ivy Jones, whose colourful stone is her companion in the Wildest Wood, helping her to explore the flowers and venture further afield.

So what do you do when your rock is no longer there? The moral of this gentle rhyming book is that beneath the rock are the roots of everything you are and the love that linked you.”

You can see the full review and other suggestions for books which might be helpful to you, or someone you know with little ones who are grieving, here: https://bookswithbaby.com/2021/11/16/picture-books-about-grief-and-death/

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West Wales Family Life

Source: West Wales Family Life

Read the full review here: https://www.westwalesfamilylife.co.uk/latest-news/review-ivy-and-the-rock

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Wales Online

Source: Wales Online

Full story here: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/suicide-cancer-jess-childs-covid-21015223

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Ivy and…the Duchess of York

I almost fell off my chair when the Duchess of York’s office emailed to say she would be reading Ivy and the Rock on her YouTube channel. It was a surreal moment for many reasons, not least because we happened to be staying in London right around the corner from Buckingham Palace at the time (alright, I know she doesn’t actually live there, but still).

It was a glorious secret I managed to keep from just about everyone apart from my husband for the next five days, and one which allowed me a little wry smile to myself as we walked down the Mall, past the Palace and through Hyde Park back to the train station the following day.

The Duchess (well her office, I suppose) has been very complimentary about the story of Ivy and it’s given me a massive boost when it comes to helping Big Issues For Little People continue to grow.

Before then it had been a funny (not ha ha) few months, where the predictable post book launch slump had left me with a hefty dose of fatigue when it came to promoting Ivy, and thinking about how to get her next story off the ground.

It was also the run up to me entering a new decade, which this time round somehow felt more monumental than the three times I’d done it before. It doesn’t take a genius to work out why I suppose and, no, it wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be in the end and, yes, I was absolutely spoiled rotten (see aforementioned trip to the big smoke). And then, The Duchess of York read the book I WROTE on the internet to thousands of people.

So, in short, I’ve had worse birthdays – even if it does mean I’m officially in my 40s now.

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That’s Life!

Source: That’s Life! Magazine
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Tenby Observer

Source: Tenby Observer

Full story here: https://www.tenby-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=130972&headline=Pembrokeshire+children%E2%80%99s+charity+and+author+join+forces+to+support+rising+numbers+of+bereaved+young+people&searchyear=2021

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Western Telegraph

Source: Western Telegraph

Full story here: https://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/19254540.milford-haven-child-bereavement-charity-partner-childrens-author/

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South Wales Argus

Source: South Wales Argus

Full story here: https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/19107257.machen-mums-childrens-book-understanding-loss/

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Hereford Times

Source: Hereford Times

Full story here: https://www.herefordtimes.com/news/19101466.ivys-adventures-explore-big-issues/