Imagine a book which gives you as a parent or teacher a chance to open up discussion on depression with your child.
Whether they are suffering depression, feeling sad or they are trying to understand a friend who often ‘feels down in the dumps’.
The book Astro is Down in the Dumps written and illustrated by Susan Day, is about a dog named Astro who is feeling down in the dumps. He is in bed when his doggy friends visit with suggestions of what they do when they are feeling sad.
The beauty of this book is that like in real life there is not one answer that suits all. Ideas from exercise to eating fresh food are offered to Astro in a fun way.
Like many skills, children need to learn to understand their emotions. It is okay to feel sad whether it is about an injury, not having a friend to play with or because your favourite toy is lost. Astro is Down in the Dumps is a chance to build resilience strategies and let them know they are not alone, many people (and dogs) feel sad too.
Susan Day the author of Astro is Down in the Dumps is passionate about helping children become resilient. She asked me to help create activities based on the book to encourage conversation between parents or teachers and children.
These activities range from Foundation to Year 6 and are aligned with the Australian Curriculum.
Kids Help Line received 390 000 attempts at contact via their helpline and website during 2013. It would be great for those numbers of children needing help to be reduced by such resources as Astro is Down in the Dumps becoming a school resource.
For your own copy of Astro is Down in the Dumps, visit Amazon
For your copy of Astro is Down in the Dumps Foundation to Year 6 Educational Activity Book, visit Amazon
To help Susan Day place a copy of Astro is Down in the Dumps into every school in Australia – donate here