** The Single Dad’s Guide to Life was provided with a free copy of Shine: Why don’t Moon Fairy and Sun Prince life together? for review. The Guide was not provided remuneration for this post, and all the views expressed therein are strictly my own.

I know that with the title of this blog, you are probably curious as to where I am going.  Basically, I have just written up a paradox.  It’s something along the lines of ripping a hole in the space-time continuum.  I have written up something that can never be.  How can one possibly have divorce and fairy tale in the same sentence, unless it goes something like “our fairy-tale marriage ended in divorce”?  Divorce does so many different ugly things.  It does not end with a happily ever after.  Divorce ends in bitter recriminations and years of therapy.  So what the heck are they trying to do with a book about a Moon Fairy and a Sun Prince?

Divorced Parents And Children Need To Talk

I am glad you asked.  Ok, maybe not super glad, just kinda glad.  I know that when someone offered to send me a copy of a book for review that would help kids out with divorce, I was curious and skeptical about what they would produce.  What were they going to be trying to say about divorce?  How would it come across in a book?  And how might children react to everything? All of these things concerned me. But as a divorced parent, I hope to find ways to communicate with my child I love her and want her in my life, always and without exception.  So I accepted the offer to review the book.  Then I waited.  And waited.

Getting packages in the mail is always exciting.  So when the book arrived in the mail, I got excited, even if I did not know how I would feel about the book.  And when I opened up the package, it came with an attached letter about the contents of the material.  Being the good reviewer I hope to be, I dutifully read what they had to say about the contents of the book.  And then I set down the page and took a look at the book.  The following are my thoughts.


Book Review Of Shine: Why Don’t Moon Fairy And Sun Prince Live Together

As a person who runs an afterschool Homework Help program at a local library, I have definite thoughts about all kinds of books that I come across with when working with children.  I think about the artwork and whether it draws a person in.  I think about whether it effectively conveys the message it meant to communicate.  And I think about how I can engage with kids in the reading of the material.  As this was a book on divorce, it had a deeper meaning to me as I thought about whether or not it’s message was something that I could effectively communicate to my daughter through its pages.

Artwork

The first things I noticed was the artwork.  Take a look at all of the beautiful pictures that they have.  I know some books have overly simplistic art drawn for the benefit of children.  This one mixed so many different colors and blends that were appealing that it definitely made me want to find out what was going on with the story.  From the cover of the book onward, each page tells its own story of love, longing, loss, and ultimately finding something beautiful out of everything that happened.

Content

As for the story itself, I think it does some pretty good things and a couple things I did not appreciate as much.  What the story does well is to convey to the children that they were born out of a parents love for each other.  The children definitely understand that the parent’s love was deep and meaningful.  And they let the children know they miraculously came from this amazing love for each other.  The other positive message occurred at the end of the piece.  The book tells the child their parents will continue to love them as they respect each other. This message would resonate with my daughter.  Her knowing her parent’s love for her transcends whatever happened with them gives her security.

As for the downside to the tale, there are a couple of moments that make me feel nervous about sharing with a child. And they have to deal with the splitting up of the moon fairy and the sun prince.  What bothered me specifically was the moment where it said that the moon fairy was no longer happy with where she was.  And that she didn’t enjoy spending time with the star any longer.  From my perspective, this leaves more questions than answers when it comes to trying to talk to a child about divorce.  Who wants to tell their child that their company did not make them feel good anymore?

The other down part comes when the Sun Prince tries to save the relationship with the Moon Fairy.  The Sun Prince tries to shine the light harder to help bring back the Moon Fairy’s light.  On the one hand, I get we as people may try to do things to help fix relationships that do not work.  And we give it one last try making sure we don’t just give up on a beautiful relationship.

On the other hand, the Moon Fairy saying that having her light on her own couldn’t come from the Sun Prince’s help and so she must leave him I think leads to more questions as well.  Questions like “if you loved daddy and he tried to help you why did you not feel better” and “if you needed to do things apart from daddy but still loved him, why couldn’t you do those things and still be together as a family” might make a discussion difficult.

Maybe these questions are good ones and things you should have ready when you want to talk to your children.  And as I said, they communicated the major themes quite effectively in the book.  Talking about divorce with children you must handle with care.  And so thinking these things through before reading to your kids would be something you should do.  And maybe being honest about how the story makes you feel as well would help your children to express theirs.

Can Divorced Parents And Children Discuss Important Topics Using This Book?

As for the ability to lead to a good discussion about the book, you can see that I think the book did its job quite well here.  They conveyed the story effectively through both pictures and words.  And it will help you talk to your child about divorce, whether it be yours, or that of a friend’s parents.  There are important messages that you can convey through this beautiful work of art.  Just be careful as you might have to discuss why a Moon Fairy likes to skinny dip.

I will leave you with one of my favorite lines from the book. “They hugged her so hard that one of her points forever left a mark in their hearts.  And when something leaves a mark in your heart, it is here to stay forever.”  And so we love our kids forever, with a deep and unconditional love.  This book conveys this most important point, excellently at the end.

I generally give a four-star rating system for movies, and so I will do the same for books here.

Rating : 3 out of 4 stars


Continue The Conversation

Evidently, this was at first a limited release, but they decided to make it go wider.  Amazon launched it Internationally on Septemeber 4th.  So if you liked it, definitely go ahead and check it out there.  The artwork still amazes me.  What things did you like the most about the book?  If divorced, what were some of your most difficult discussions with your children?  Or if you were the child of a divorced home, what was difficult to hear from your parents?  What would you have wanted them to tell you?

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Until next time, this is me signing off.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life