Several picture books have been published recently to help children who are separated from a family member due to military service. Here is a list of some of the best ones on the topic:
Sometimes We Were Brave by Pat Brisson
Jerome’s mother is a sailor in the United States Navy, and when she is away at sea he tries to be brave even though misses her and has some bad days.
My Red Balloon by Eve Bunting
A young boy waits with both excitement and apprehension for his father to disembark from the aircraft carrier returning to port after many months at sea.
Dear Baby, I’m Watching Over You by Carol Casey
Pictures and rhymes show ways that parents in the military stay connected with their children, even when they are far away.
My Big Brother by Miriam Cohen
When his big brother leaves to become a soldier, a boy does what he can to take his place in the family.
My Hero, My Dad the Nurse by Maggie Thurmond Dorsey
Michael’s friends laugh when he says he wants to be a nurse, so he introduces them to his dad, who took care of wounded soldiers in the Army before his current job in a hospital.
Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin
A child demonstrates that while Dad differs from a traditional superhero, as an American soldier he is a superhero of a different kind.
The Hero in my Pocket by Marlene Lee
This book is especially for children with a loved one who died while serving in the military. It has lots of suggestions for ways families can handle their grief.
Crow Call by Lois Lowry
Drawing on her own childhood, Lois Lowry writes about getting to know her dad again when he comes home after World War II.
Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom by Lisa Tucker McElroy
Nine-year-old Lizzie writes to her mother, who is deployed overseas during wartime, and includes maps that show her mother what Lizzie has been thinking and doing. The book includes nonfiction tips for helping children of military families.
When Dad’s at Sea by Mindy L. Pelton
Emily, whose father is a Navy pilot, has to deal with the separation of her family while her dad is deployed aboard a ship.
The Bicycle Man by Allen Say
Two American soldiers visit a village school in postwar Japan, borrowing a bicycle to provide a fantastic finale for the school’s sports day festivities.
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian
Using the alphabet format, this picture book describes the many situations and experiences that military families encounter, such as life on base and the importance of letters from home.
The following article describes a recent study into how parents’ deployments affect children, followed by suggestions of how to make deployment easier on children and their families: