‘My Dad built me the best and wackiest cubby ever’ is a timely and compassionate story about a child and father navigating the dad’s mental health struggles, and was inspired by the author’s own lived experience.
Dr Monika Schott, who had to explain to her young children the strange and sometimes scary behaviour they were witnessing in their family members with poor mental health, set about writing the heart-warming chapter book as a way for young children to explore mental illness and mental health, and alleviate the fear and stigma that often comes with it.
Told through the eyes of a child, the book ‘My Dad built me the best and wackiest cubby ever’ tells the touching story of a child and father setting out to build a cubbyhouse under streaming sunshine, until clouds snake in on a hazing horizon… skies swell, a clouding storm brews and finally breaks and swirls into pouring rains and eventually subsides. All the while, the cubby grows wackier, with the rustiest of riches that rattle and rule! This is all a metaphor for the father’s mental ill health that gently aligns with the building of the cubby, and changing emotions and weather.
For parents and carers, the book will provide guidance on how to talk to children about mental illness, a subject which is often difficult for even adults to understand. For children, not only is it a tender story about a father and child and their cubbyhouse, but it offers a simple way for kids to learn about mental illness in a way that they will understand.
It is a gentle interpretation of what Monika observed within her own family, and is ideal for children aged 5-12 years.
The chapter book is accompanied by resources for teachers, carers and families to draw upon, and is available in full-colour or black and white, as a paperback or E-book.
About The Author
Dr Monika Schott is an Australian based writer and researcher. Life’s intricacies and curiosities inspire her to write and give voice to stories that haven’t been heard. She’s particularly interested in lost industrial communities and communities that have been isolated or segregated, and interpreting these stories of past communities before they’re lost forever. She once practiced as a metal artist and painter and as such, writes like an artist creating texture on metal or canvas.
She wrote the social history of Melbourne’s first sewerage farm community as part of her PhD research into sewerage ghost towns and how these communities flourish in their abject margins. Her novel, ‘The Faraway Land of the House and Two Cows’, and song, ‘A Land Faraway’, were released in July 2022.
Her latest book, ‘My Dad built me the best and wackiest cubby ever’ is a timely and compassionate story about a child and father navigating the dad’s mental health struggles, and is inspired by Monika’s own lived experience. The heart-warming chapter book is a gentle interpretation of what Monika observed within her own family, and is ideal for children aged 5-12 years.