I just came across an article about Meh, a wordless picture book written and illustrated by Deborah Malcolm, as away of helping children understand depression and mental health.
Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s unconventional storytelling, Malcolm decided to use visual metaphor and symbolic imagery to explain – and leave open to others – what depression feels like. Depression is subjective, depending on the sufferer and how others experience the feeling, and allowing children and adults to arrive at their own interpretations should help create a deeper connection and understanding.
Says Malcolm, “Meh was designed to be completely wordless so that the reader can come to their own conclusion of what they think depression is. It is different for everyone. It is also a tool for parents, guardians and teachers to use to teach children about mental health. I hope it will engage them in discussion about mental illnesses so that they might have a better chance of tackling them in the future and reduce the stigma surrounding it.”
Amazon has a “Look Inside” glimpse available for Meh, and the art is quite evocative. I’m interested in picking up a few copies for my libraries and seeing if these will circulate. Having suffered post-partum depression in the past, I’d have loved to have had a copy of this available to my older children to help them grasp what was going on in our home at the time. Good luck to Ms. Malcolm on this one, and thank you.