Penguin Random House, the publishing house, is releasing a children’s fiction book that aims to help children cope with death and loss, When the World Went Dark by author Jane De Suza on January 25, 2021.
According to a press release, When the World Went Dark is set against the backdrop of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. It aims to help children adjust to the new normal and heal in the aftermath of losing a loved one.
The book will carry illustrations, and bring humor into its storytelling.
According to the publishing house, the book will also offer advice to caregivers from mental health specialists on how to identify signs of unexplained changes in a child’s behaviour when they go through loss, and what can be done to help the child cope and heal. It also aims to help young readers process the loss of a loved one, communicate with adults in order to cope, and help their voices and feelings be heard.
“To help Swara, you’d have to dive into her world during the lockdown. Feel the almost-nine-year-old’s heart break as she loses her favourite person ever, Pitter Paati. Swara pursues clues to find her, but stumbles upon a crime instead. Expectedly, no one believes her,” reads the book’s press note.
When the World Went Dark also aims to help parents explain death, loss, and acceptance to their children.
The book’s author, Jane De Suza, is a management graduate and creative director based out in Singapore where she lives with her family. She has authored a number of books, including the SuperZero series, Uncool, Happily Never After, and The Spy Who Lost Her Head. She also writes columns for newspapers and magazines.
The current death toll from the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in late 2019, has crossed 2 million according to the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres.