Written by teenager Emily Palmer, this information book is a much-needed introduction for young children to the concept of mental health issues, their effects and how they are treated. The language has been chosen carefully for its child-friendliness: being in poor mental health is described as ‘having a poorly brain’, therapists/counsellors as ‘special doctors’. Eggs have been used to illustrate the concepts in the book (eggs with cracked bandaged ‘heads’, the title ‘scrambled heads’ presumably referring to confusing emotions).
This important book is a successful and child-friendly guide to mental health. This is not a slick, professionally illustrated picture book; it has more of a home-made information booklet feel to it. Perhaps something that a caring big sister might produce for a younger sibling, complete with felt-tip doodles. But this adds to its charm and authenticity. A great starting point for a conversation about mental health, and a means to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness.