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Bomji and Spotty's Frightening Adventure (Hidden Strengths Therapeutic Children's Books) ISBN: 9781785927706
Hu, C.C. Alicia, Kuo, Ching-Pang, Ogden, Pat and Westcott, Anne
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017
This series of books by authors trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy emphasise the bodily attributes that happen when children are mistreated or experience trauma of any sort. In this one we meet Bomji, a little boy rabbit, and Spotty, a little girl cat. They are the very best of friends and enjoy school and playing together, even though Bomji is brainy and Spotty is sporty. One day they decide to pick flowers in a meadow, and in the process, they hear a strange noise. What could it be? When a coyote suddenly appears, the two friends are terrified. The first reaction is to run, but Spotty realises that Bomji has frozen and can't possibly get away. So it is up to Spotty to jump out and demand that the coyote race her. He is up for it and they are off and away. Spotty begins to get tired and finds a convenient tree to climb, well out of the coyote's way, and she stays there resting until he is out of sight. When she gets back to Bomji, she realises that he is really frozen and can't walk. She helps him home, but after this, Bomji is a changed little rabbit. He doesn't talk about their fright, but his nightmares are terrifying, and he finds himself in a bubble that Spotty can't seem to penetrate. She is worried, and when Bomji is actively rude to their friend Sprinkle, a pig, she goes to Teacher Owl, whom she trusts. Teacher Owl understands that Bomji is suffering trauma from the coyote experience, and she is able to help by talking and using art with him to help him through, and Bomji cries and 'lets out all his fright from the coyote. There's a happy ending here, because Bomji and Spotty remain 'the best of friends'. This sensitive and unusual story shows in picture and text the hidden strengths that we possess when things go wrong in our lives. In the 'Guide for Grown-ups' at the back of the book, there are good explanations of the 'hidden strengths' that the two friends employ in the story: the fight or flight mechanism that Spotty does to get the coyote away from Bomji; the motionless defence (submission) Bomji's body uses; seeking closeness that Spotty uses in getting Teacher Owl involved; and the orienting response that Teacher Owl uses with Bomji. The simple pictures are highly effective in showing the emotions involved, and in times of high stress, the colours fade to grey and white. Much to think about here, and this series of three stories has lots going for it in helping children recover from real trauma. Available from Amazon, from good book shops, and from the publisher: www.jkp.com.
Age: 4+