Writer and campaigner Stephanie Nimmo has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new book Goodbye Daisy, which aims to support children with minimal or no language when a friend or someone close to them dies.
The book was inspired by her daughter Daisy, who had a learning disability, who was helped to articulate how she felt about the death of her father through a book made by her teachers. Daisy had minimal verbal skills and communicated mostly through Makaton.
“I remember visiting my friend whose daughter attended the school,” Stephanie said in the Kickstarter, “I was really aware when I entered their home that the little girl was trying to make sense of it all – I was in the house, but where was Daisy? She, like Daisy, understood a lot of what was happening but she did not have the words to talk about how she felt.
“As I spoke to the teachers and therapists who had worked with Daisy and her friends at school several things struck me; statistically children in special schools are more likely to lose a classmate than a child in a mainstream school, death and grief are not curriculum subjects, very few resources exist to help children, especially non-verbal or learning-disabled children understand and communicate their feelings around death and dying.”
Goodbye Daisy will be told from the perspective of Evie, a friend of Daisy’s, who is told that she won’t see Daisy again, but is confused and angry, and filled with many questions about why this is and what it means. Evie is given a nightlight of Daisy’s by her mum, but Evie doesn’t understand why Daisy doesn’t need it anymore. Daisy visits Evie in a dream and explains why she doesn’t need her light, and what has happened.
The book will be illustrated by Helen Braid, who has previously worked with Stephanie on the cover of her book Was This In the Plan? You can back the book on Kickstarter to help it reach its goal, and follow Stephanie on Twitter for updates on the book.