When My Mommy Cries
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When My Mommy Cries
a story to help families cope with sadness
Published:
12/13/2011
Format:
Saddle Stitch Softcover
Pages:
32
Size:
8.5x8.5
ISBN:
978-1-45254-241-6
Print Type:
Color
“When My Mommy Cries” is a tender story about a little girl who feels scared, confused, and abandoned when her mother becomes deeply sad. Through reassuring honesty, gentle compassion, and mutual respect, they nurture the bonds of trust, as the girl discovers that nothing - not even sadness or depression - can separate her from the safety and security of her mother’s love.

Crystal offers this book - and the poignant song which accompanies it - with the heartfelt hope that it may be a tool for healing - to help families like her own, who have borne the burden of depression or grief, become “stronger at the broken places.” May it help all who read it find deeper empathy for others, gentler patience with themselves, and greater wisdom for facing life’s struggles with the children they love.
"My Mommy loves me when the morning sun is glowing warm and bright. My Mommy loves me when the silver stars are glist'ning in the night. Through ev'ry changing season, she loves me all the year. And I know my Mommy loves me still when her eyes are filled with tears."
Crystal Godfrey LaPoint’s professional life has been primarily musical and artistic. She earned advanced degrees in both Piano Performance and Music Composition from the Syracuse University College of Visual & Performing Arts. Crystal is a widely published and commissioned, award-winning composer of choral, chamber, and orchestral music. Her artwork has been exhibited in many prestigious venues including Everson Museum of Art and the Delavan Art Gallery.

She is also the survivor of domestic and relationship violence, and grew up in a home where both of her parents suffered from depression and anxiety. She has struggled with the dark legacy of depression for over three decades. During that time, Crystal raised three wonderful children, whose experiences she has chosen to share in this book, When My Mommy Cries.

She is an ardent advocate for survivors of relationship violence and the destigmatization of mental illness.
Crystal Godfrey LaPoint’s tender story in When My Mommy Cries is one that has needed to be told for some time now. Like any good children’s author, LaPoint is able to succinctly express her theme, which is the subtitle of the book: “a story to help families cope with sadness.” LaPoint herself has a history of depression. She grew up in a family in which the disorder was commonplace, and in her adult life she was forced to endure domestic and sexual violence. With this in mind, it is no wonder LaPoint saw this void in the world of children’s literature.

Depression is not immune to certain types of families. It does not discriminate. LaPoint’s story therefore is capable of speaking to any race, gender, creed or sexual orientation. Coupled with Crystal Eldridge’s beautiful illustrations, When My Mommy Cries is a powerful tale that cuts to the heart of its reader. Perhaps the most brilliant part about When My Mommy Cries is that its two lone characters are nameless. In this way, we are not at all distracted from the central message by attributing our own prejudices to the characters. They are archetypes, and they are meant to be. By virtue of this decision, the story, again, becomes eminently relatable. The story ends on a tender note, as the daughter affirms to us her newfound perspective: “I love her on the good days / when our world feels safe and true, / just the same as on our saddest days. / And she always loves me, too” (Italics in text).

When My Mommy Cries without question achieves its goal of, in LaPoint’s words, helping “families cope with sadness.” It is interesting to note that that LaPoint deliberately presents us with a single mother. There is no mention of any father figure, and the daughter appears to be an only child. Seeing as children’s literature is concerned with brevity, it makes sense that LaPoint does not complicate the story with secondary characters. This is commendable, as their inclusion would only detract from the story’s core message: people—in this case, mothers—get depressed, and it is not a reflection on their children.

When My Mommy Cries is semi-autobiographical. And it shows. The tone and style of the writing drip with love and care. Moreover, Eldridge’s illustrations are a perfect companion for LaPoint’s heartwarming tale. As the author remarks: “May [this book] help all who read it find deeper empathy for others, gentler patience with themselves, and greater wisdom for facing life’s struggles with the children they love.” LaPoint can rest assured. It does.
Daniel Berkowitz 
About the Book

When My Mommy Cries by Crystal Godfrey LaPoint is a unique children’s book to help parents talk with children about sadness. The semi-autobiographical tale is told through the eyes of a little girl trying to understand her mother’s chronic depression. Designed as a communication tool, the book enables parents to provide comfort and support to their children when trying to understand sadness and grief. The child of a depressed mother and victim of depression herself, the author incorporates her own experiences with sadness and its affect on family dynamics into the book.

About the Author

Crystal Godfrey LaPoint's professional life has been primarily musical and artistic. She earned advanced degrees in both Piano Performance and Music Composition from the Syracuse University College of Visual & Performing Arts. Crystal is a widely published and commissioned, award-winning composer of choral, chamber, and orchestral music. Her artwork has been exhibited in many prestigious venues including Everson Museum of Art and the Delavan Art Gallery.

She is also the survivor of domestic and relationship violence, and grew up in a home where both of her parents suffered from depression and anxiety. She has struggled with the dark legacy of depression for over three decades. During that time, Crystal raised three wonderful children, whose experiences she has chosen to share in this book, When My Mommy Cries.

The author now lives in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, with her husband--composer and author--Daniel S. Godfrey. She is an ardent advocate for survivors of relationship violence and the destigmatization of mental illness.

My Take on the Book

This was a powerful book that tackled a difficult topic. I know there are many women and mothers who deal with many issues that can come across to children in different ways. Whether it is domestic violence, depression or other issues, when a child sees their parent unhappy or sad they do not always know what they can do to help. This book addresses this and allows a child to understand that just being there and being themselves is enough. The book was well written and would be a great addition to anyone that is dealing with difficult issues within the home.
Christopher Lewis 
Modern society has done away with many of the old social taboos. Although we have come a long way, there are many normal problems that families face that still carry that stigma of being abnormal, socially unacceptable. Depression is still often a social taboo.

It is perfectly acceptable to talk about depression or to be depressed if you are older or recently went through a break-up. We can explain why these people are depressed, it makes sense. The truth is that depression does not make sense. What about a suburban housewife with the two and a half kids and the husband with a great job who struggles with depression? For some reason society still does not want to acknowledge people whose live seemingly normal lives, yet struggle with depression.

Parents who deal with depression not only have to deal with their depression and the lack of societal acceptance, but even more importantly the reactions of their children. How do you explain to a 5 year old that it is not their fault if mommy or daddy cries frequently? How do you help them to understand that there is nothing they can do to make you feel better or that you just want to be left alone without alienating or hurting the child?

Although I have not dealt with depression as a parent, I have had several friends and acquaintances who have. When I heard about the book, "When My Mommy Cries," by Crystal Godfrey LaPoint and illustrated by Crystal Eldridge, I was intrigued and looked forward to the opportunity to share the book with my readers. With 20 million Americans suffering from depression annually, I am sure that there are plenty of readers out there who could be blessed with a book to help talk about depression with their children.

"When Mommy Cries" is a simple story from a child's perspective about her mom. The little girl knows that some days her mommy is sad and cries and other days she is happy. As the book continues, the mom explains that the she does not know why she is sometimes sad, but that it is not her daughter that causes her to be sad. For anyone suffering from depression this book is a great book to open up discussion with your children. The story can lead to natural conversation about how mommy or daddy feels and why they get sad sometimes.

The brightly colored pictures clearly tell the story in pictures as the parent reads the book to a child. In addition, the story is a set to prose with an accompanying CD and sheet music. The sing song rhythm of the story helps to create a safe environment to discuss mommy or daddy's sadness.

If you struggle with depression or know someone who does, "When My Mommy Cries" would be a great addition to your library. To learn more you can visit the books website or purchase the book from Amazon for $17.99.
ShyBabies 
 
 


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Saddle Stitch Softcover
Price $19.99
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