Friday, June 25, 2010

Review by Shellie: Mommy’s Black Eye by William G. Bentrim and Illustrations by Christi Shofield



Domestic violence is not an easy topic, but it is nevertheless a very  real and important one.

My Review:  This is a wonderful little children’s book with illustrations that are both sweet and sad. It tells the story of two children who, after a very noisy night, find that their mommy has a black eye when they come home from school.

As Mommy talks with the two children, a boy and a girl, in a realistic tone, she tells them how they are not responsible for this problem and that she and Daddy both love them. She tells them that things will be different for a while, and that Daddy will not be staying with them for the time being.

All these elements are important for children to see and hear when faced with a difficult event such as this.

This book ends on a positive note when Mommy stands her ground by setting limits with her partner, requiring him to leave the household and to get badly needed counseling. This is not always the case. Women are often caught up in a cycle and return to their abuser, where more often than not the violence escalates. This can be lethal for women and innocent children; at times some loose their lives. This book deserves a 4.5 star rating. Highly recommended.

Below William Bentrim, speaks about the realities around this issue in the notes  taken directly from the book, where there is help and information below:

Author’s Note:   Domestic violence exists. That is a simple disturbing fact. It isn’t something that should be ignored or swept under the rug. It is imperative to face this problem, acknowledge it’s existence and do our best to aid those who are exposed to it. Children, all too often, are susceptible to accepting responsibility for their parents bad behavior. They need to understand that they are not responsible for the violence. This book attempts to explain a very complicated issue to young children. It is focused on pre-school to middle school children. It is not designed as a panacea, merely an attempt to help them understand what is going on in their lives.

Using a battered mother as an example is not ignoring the fact that men too are abused. Statistics indicate far more mothers are abused than fathers. The gender of the victim is relevant as women are normally the care givers and this greatly limits their alternatives in a domestic violence situation.

This book is not intended to be light hearted but equally I have tried to address domestic violence with a sensitive touch. It is frequently far more disturbing that what is portrayed here. I did not feel that a more graphic portrayal was suitable for the target audience.

Dedicated to all the victims of domestic violence, may they survive the experience and help to eradicate the problem.

Domestic Abuse Resources:  If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation please take action. The following resources should be able to direct you to someone in your own community that can help you, a friend or a loved one. Domestic abuse does not just stop on it’s own accord. If you are abused or an abuser, you must take immediate action to remedy the situation.

National Domestic Violence/Child Abuse/ Sexual Abuse 24-hour-a-day

800-799-SAFE = 800-799-7233
800-787-3224 TDD
800-942-6908 Spanish Speaking

Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-829-1122
USA National Telephone Hotlines: 1-800-4-A-CHILD = 1-800-422-4453

ChildHelp USA: Assists any child or teen with any problem including, but not limited to: running away, physical abuse, sexual abuse. Referrals for children, teens, as well as adults. 24 hours. Web site:

A Clearing House Web Site with a wide variety of resources. 

A big thank you to William Bentrim for providing parents and educators with this book, as well for his permission to include parts of his book in this post.

For more information about the book, the author please see the Layers of Thought’s Preview of Mommy’s Black Eye.

Amazon purchasing links for US|UK|Canada.

For another important book by William Bentrim, please see Shellie’s review/preview combo for Daddy Goes on a Trip. It is also a wonderful book based on the loss and confusion children feel when a parent in the military is deployed for service to their country or has to travel on an extended trip.

Have a wonderful weekend and take care. Thanks for reading Layers of Thought


ibpurpledragon said...

Thank you for the wonderful review. As a former guidance counselor I was sadly privy to situations that are seldom addressed, particularly in the affluent suburban environment. Too many folks see "those" kind of problems as strictly city problems. A fragile economy and it's resultant stress fuels emotional issues. Hopefully my book will help someone who is coping with this problem. It is my best selling book and that is a telling statement in and of itself.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bill -
Please note that Bill will be addressing any comments here today.

DCMetroreader said...

I used to volunteer at a Woman's Shelter that housed women and their children on an emergency basis. This book sounds like it would be perfect for similar families in crisis.

ibpurpledragon said...

One can only hope that it gets to people who can use it. I also hope that it sensitize people to the problem's existence.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

In my social work career, I certainly saw plenty of violence, including domestic violence. It is a struggle for the victims to stop the cycle, and this book sounds like a good example of how that might happen.

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