Happy Pants: Why is Mummy so sad?
By Heather Gallagher and Liz McGrath, Wombat Books, 2014.
‘When Mummy wears her happy pants we build sandcastles, go out for babycinos and have lots and lots of cuddles
But when she comes home with baby Darcy, her happy pants stay in her wardrobe…’
This is a highly relatable story for children who have recently experienced the introduction of a new baby to the home, and especially if their mother is suffering from depression. Happy Pants broaches the often taboo topic of postnatal depression with kindness, and it has a positive ending that will offer hope to your child if he or she is in the same situation.
Colourful watercolour images adorn the book, and although the style is quite naive, I think they would appeal to children because of the soft vibrancy of the pages.
Happy Pants is a great book for fathers to read to their children, but also mothers. There is an informative page at the end of the book explaining what post-natal depression is and how common it is in new mothers and also fathers. Happy Pants was published in 2014, and it mentions that at that time this type of depression affected ‘one in seven new mothers and one in ten new fathers’.
This is like a self-help book for both children and parents. Children will align their feelings with the main character’s feelings, and for parents, there is a list of organisations, including websites and phone numbers of places they can go to get information and support. This book provides a valuable all-round resource for all affected by postnatal depression.
I hope that this book provides much-needed help to those affected by this illness.