Happy Pants: why is Mummy so sad?

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GALLAGHER, Heather (text) Liz McGrath (illus.) Happy Pants: why is Mummy so sad? Wombat, 2014 unpaged $22.99 ISBN 9781921632938 SCIS 1660693

This picture book is about one family’s experience with post natal depression, and is a narrative presumably to be used in explaining to young children why their mother may be behaving in a certain way.  It is built around the theme that the young protagonist’s mother no longer wears the happy colourful pants she wore during her pregnancy.  There are references to ‘being blue’, sleeping all day and crying: the little boy asks perceptive questions such as how a person can ‘be a colour’, and that surely ‘only babies sleep all day’?  These questions provide many opportunities for the readers to discuss quite complex issues.  The plot resolves realistically and doesn’t tie the issue up too neatly.  This is pitched at approximately the three to six age group.  The illustrations are lovely, colourful and warm.  This is a useful and engaging educational picture book.

reviewed by Angie Holst

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