Many Shapes of Clay

Many Shapes of Clay
Kenesha Sneed

Kenesha Sneed the author and illustrator of this beautiful book is an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and creative director of Tactile Matter. Now she has created this story wherein we share in the work and daily lives of a girl named Eisha and her ceramic artist mother who works in a basement studio. Eisha too uses clay but unlike her mother, she doesn’t put her creations on a shelf and one day she forms a shape that makes her feel happy, reminding her of her Papa whom she has lost fairly recently.

As the heat of the day increases, Eisha’s Mama suggests some fresh air and they go out to do some errands. While her mother shops, Eisha sits playing with her yellow shape; now it reminds her of the ocean. Gradually though it hardens in the heat and eventually cracks, shattering into small pieces:

‘ Each piece reflects the sadness she feels.’

When her Mama sees the pieces and hears what her daughter has to say she knows instinctively of a way to help, and together they create something new and different.

With a focus on the process of healing through creativity, Kenesha Sneed’s powerful, poignant story shows a girl learning to live with her loss while at the same time using her inventiveness to fashion something new from what remains.

By using a straightforward text, Kenesha allows her striking images to convey much of the emotion and her story’s powerful message that within us all is the power to heal.

Not only will this book resonate with those who have lost someone dear to them, it also offers all youngsters an opening to talk about their feelings of loss in relation to the pandemic and what it has taken from them during the last twelve months or so, be that contact with friends, family, classmates, even normal life in general. It’s definitely one I’d advocate adding to primary class collections and family bookshelves.

Rafi’s Red Racing Car


Rafi’s Red Racing Car
Louise Moir
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Subtitled ‘Explaining Suicide and Grief to Young Children’, the author/illustrator of this book, art psychotherapist Louise Moir, lost her own husband to suicide a few years ago.
Rafi’s daddy had been suffering from depression, so much so that he’d stopped playing Rafi’s favourite racing car game with him. Desperate to put an end to ‘all the muddle and all the worry and sadness in his head’ there seemed only one thing to do: Rafi’s daddy took his own life.


Inevitably this leaves young Rafi confused and scared; what if his mummy became similarly ill too? Rafi deals with his grief in his own way by showing anger towards his toys and his friends which, inevitably, make things worse.
Enter a therapist who works with Rafi, gradually helping him to start coming to terms with what has happened and slowly, slowly Rafi begins to heal. Of course, his mummy plays a very important role in his healing process too.


Aimed at adults, the ‘Helping Children Heal’ final pages of the book offer a supportive guide to parents and professionals.
With its expressive watercolour illustrations …,


this little book takes a disturbing experience and its aftermath, showing that ultimately, transcendence can happen. In addition it should help young sufferers develop the all-important emotional language to cope with their experience.
A very useful resource for families and those who work with bereaved youngsters.