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Little Rabbit and Big Rabbit are together after a difficult separation, but even though they missed each other, Little Rabbit is not ready to cuddle up and receive Big Rabbit’s love. Little Rabbit needs Big Rabbit to understand what it felt like when they were apart. “Sometimes I am very mad. I don’t understand why you weren’t with me,” says Little Rabbit, “I worry you will go away again.” Big Rabbit listens carefully and helps Little Rabbit to feel understood and loved. This story was designed to help parents and children talk about difficult separations, reconnect, and find their way back to each other.

The book may be helpful for families experiencing  . . .

  • Divorce or caregiver separation
  • Caregiver work-related separations
  • Military service related separations 
  • Immigration related separations
  • Child welfare related separations
  • Parental incarceration
  • Parental substance use related separations

Free Resources

Click to download the free finger puppets

Praise for You Weren't with Me

This book is a treasure, exquisitely attuned to the inner life of very young children and people of all ages as they grapple with the universal pain of separation from those they love. The words are just right, the facial expressions and body language are just right, the color scheme is just right. Reading it took me out of myself and into the grief, fear and longing that we all feel when the person we most love is taken away from us. The book speaks eloquently to small children and parents who were separated and feel at a loss to understand or to explain why. It is an invaluable resource for parents, substitute caregivers, clinicians, and all those who endeavor to help young children feel heard, understood and supported in coping with a painful circumstance that no child should have to experience.

Alicia F. Lieberman, Ph.D.

Irving B. Harris Endowed Chair of Infant Mental Health, Professor, UCSF Department of Psychiatry, author of the Emotional Life of the Toddler and Don't Hit My Mommy, Psychotherapy with Infants and Young Children

For times when painful separation is so difficult to understand or to try to explain, these sweet, poignant bunny rabbits say just the right thing in just the right way. They give voice to a little one’s hurt, yearning, and fear that once experienced is hard to get over; they guide a caregiver on how to hold those feelings and acknowledge them and then use healing words and tenderness to gently move forward. Beautifully written, and the perfect length for a young child’s attention, the book is accompanied by caregiver guides that offer expert advice in the specific context of different types of scenarios children and families may find themselves in.

Lisa Amaya-Jackson, MD, MPH

UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

Even More Praise

  • Read the lovely review from Patricia Tilton's wonderful Blog, Children's Books Heal
    "Indeed it is a treasure! We need more stories like this to help jump-start the important conversations about challenging separations between children and parents. Only then can healing begin."
  • Check out what adoption coach, Gayle Swift shared about our book
    "You Weren’t with Me by Chandra Ghosh Ippen Is a lovely, tender book that addresses the tumultuous, intense and complex feelings that children confront when they are separated from their mother."  .  .  . "The text does a superb job of addressing a spectrum of emotions and concerns and models a very empathetic “serve and return” interaction between child and parent. I highly recommend this book."
  • A review from a reader on GoodReads that really touched us"Read to 3 children ages 5, 6 and 9 + a gift for our foster kiddos' mom. It especially helped ground and connect our 5 year old to his feelings of hurt from and confusion about being separated from his bio mom. All the kids seem to be gripped by this short book's simple straightforward animation of what it feels like to both need and be mad at a parent from whom they've been separated without clear (to them) reasons; validation for their mixed bag emotions and lands in a soft place."

  • Other groups recommending our book

If you found our book helpful and would like to share a story or a review, please do so. It makes us so happy to hear your stories. You can email us at or leave a review for us on Amazon, GoodReads or any other book review sites.