unraveling rose

Book Review: Unraveling Rose

April 18th 2019

Get the tissues ready, because this children's book about OCD is a tear-jerker

When I got to the office this morning, the last thing I thought I’d be feeling was utterly broken, emotionally drained and then marvelously uplifted after reading a children’s book about OCD.

Unraveling Rose focuses on (you guessed it), Rose, a stuffed bunny who absolutely loves spending time with the little boy who hugs her at bedtime. Her duty is not only to play with him in the park, but at nighttime, she is the official page turner when stories are read.

Everything seems to be wonderful until one day, Rose finds a loose piece of red thread in the stitching on the underside of her left arm. She becomes unable to concentrate on anything else, and the thoughts stop her from doing all of the things she loves to do, even making her feel like she doesn’t want to read stories and turn pages anymore.

What author, Brian Wray, and illustrator, Shiloh Penfield, have been able to capture in this cute, short and poignant children’s book is a painfully accurate portrayal of what living with OCD is like and the negative effects it can have. Without spoiling anymore for the avid readers out there, I would encourage anyone of any age to read this book. Although it really is aimed at young children, the impact it had on me was profound, and I don’t say that lightly.

It talks about OCD in a way that young children would be able to understand with relative ease and the illustration is so easy on the eye and delightfully charming that joy can be found by child and adult alike. Although the explanation of OCD and the process of recovery/managing the thoughts is short and sweet, I appreciate that this is to cater for a younger audience with possibly shorter attention spans.

I personally think that this book should be on the curriculum for schools all over the world. It would it help those children living with OCD understand it better and accept themselves as the imperfect, amazing kids that they are. Furthermore, it could be an invaluable educational tool for the vast majority who live in freedom from the thoughts and fears that often coincide with OCD.

In summary,¬† this book is essential reading for anyone who is interested in OCD, from a sufferer or carer’s perspective. I believe, like the author, that imagination and storytelling has magic powers, and Unraveling Rose is a shining example of that.


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