Little Rabbit and Big Rabbit are together after a difficult separation, but even though they missed each other, Little Rabbit is not ready to cuddle up and receive Big Rabbit’s love. Little Rabbit needs Big Rabbit to understand what it felt like when they were apart. “Sometimes I am very mad. I don’t understand why you weren’t with me,” says Little Rabbit, “I worry you will go away again.” Big Rabbit listens carefully and helps Little Rabbit to feel understood and loved. This story was designed to help parents and children talk about difficult separations, reconnect, and find their way back to each other.
This book is a treasure, exquisitely attuned to the inner life of very young children and people of all ages as they grapple with the universal pain of separation from those they love. The words are just right, the facial expressions and body language are just right, the color scheme is just right. Reading it took me out of myself and into the grief, fear and longing that we all feel when the person we most love is taken away from us. The book speaks eloquently to small children and parents who were separated and feel at a loss to understand or to explain why. It is an invaluable resource for parents, substitute caregivers, clinicians, and all those who endeavor to help young children feel heard, understood and supported in coping with a painful circumstance that no child should have to experience.
Alicia F. Lieberman, PhD
Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair of Infant Mental Health, Professor, UCSF Department of Psychiatry, author of The Emotional Life of the Toddler and Don’t Hit My Mommy: Psychotherapy with Infants and Young Children
For times when painful separation is so difficult to understand or to try to explain, these sweet, poignant bunny rabbits say just the right thing in just the right way. They give voice to a little one’s hurt, yearning, and fear that once experienced is hard to get over; they guide a caregiver on how to hold those feelings and acknowledge them and then use healing words and tenderness to gently move forward. Beautifully written, and the perfect length for a young child’s attention, the book is accompanied by caregiver guides that offer expert advice in the specific context of different types of scenarios children and families may find themselves in.
Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH
UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
You Weren’t with Me may be helpful for families experiencing:
• Divorce or caregiver separation
• Caregiver work-related separations
• Military service related separations
• Immigration related separations
• Child welfare related separations
• Parental incarceration
• Parental substance use related separations
The books from Piplo Productions are designed to help families begin conversations about difficult experiences. The hope is that they speak both to children and to the child within all of us and that they promote greater understanding of how stress and trauma affect children and how grown-ups can partner to support them.
They are ideal books for parents and for all professionals who work with children.
About the Author:
Chandra Ghosh Ippen combines her love of story and cute creatures with her training in clinical psychology. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Southern California in 1999 and completed pre and postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is currently the Associate Director of the Child Trauma Research Program at UCSF and the Director of Dissemination and Implementation for Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). She has co-authored over 20 publications related to trauma and diversity-informed practice including the book Don’t Hit My Mommy, which is the manual for child–parent psychotherapy. She has over 15 years of experience conducting trainings nationally and internationally.
As a first generation East Indian/Japanese American who is fluent in Spanish and past co-Chair of the Culture Consortium of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, she is committed to examining how culture and context affect perception and mental health systems.
She also has a lifetime mission to bake 1000 pies and a pie in all 50 US states.