Picture book aims to help kids adjust to military deployment

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“LILY HATES GOODBYES,” by Jerilyn Marler, Illustrated by Nathan Stoltenberg, CreateSpace, $6.95 (ages 3 and up)

When the men and women of the armed services are called away from home, they’re not the only ones affected. Spouses are without they’re significant others, parents without their sons and daughters and children without their mommy or daddy.

Jerilyn Marler’s “Lily Hates Goodbyes” addresses the feelings a child faces when their parent is deployed. And it’s based on real-life experiences.

Marler wrote the story for her 4-year-old granddaughter, Lily, whose own father spent time away in the Navy. Lily would run from the room rather than talk about what she was feeling. The book says Marler, gave Lily a sounding board.

In the book, Lily hates goodbyes. She gets mad that Daddy’s not there. She gets sad, too. But when a letter comes, she’s excited. Daddy being gone sometimes makes her stubborn and cranky.

I normally don’t review self-published books. Having a publisher guarantees to a certain degree a level of quality. “Lily Hates Goodbyes,” however, has gained that credibility through the United Through Reading Military Program, which selected the book for its reading list.

This military program gives deployed service members the opportunity to make a video recording while reading a book aloud to their child. The DVD is sent to the child, who can watch and listen to the parent and read along.

This book could be a helpful tool to parents who are faced with their children’s fears and worries in addition to their own.

“Lily Hates Goodbyes” is simple in its format and illustrations. The focus here is getting to the root of the problem, and bells and whistles aren’t really a necessity. The production quality is fairly decent for a self-published book, as well. If readers take “Lily Hates Goodbyes” at face value, they won’t be disappointed.

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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