FAMILY CHANGES and WHERE DID MY FRIEND GO? by Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D. (Review & Guest Author)


The world can be a violent place. Although you try to shelter your children, terrible things can happen at any moment. As a parent, you want to protect them, but this isn’t always possible. The best thing you can do for your children is make sure you are prepared to help them after a sudden death or other traumatic experience.

Where Did My Friend Go? was written by clinical psychologist and child-development specialist Azmaira H. Maker, PhD, to help adults discuss a traumatic death and bereavement with children ages three to eight years old. Children will read along as the protagonist talks about the sudden loss of a friend and asks adults important questions about dying, grief, and safety.

Dr. Maker has spent her career working with children and families. She understands how witnessing-or even simply hearing about-a violent and sudden death can leave children traumatized, frightened, and confused. Dr. Maker’s new picture book allows children to cope with their feelings and questions in a calm and nurturing context.

The book includes a guide for adults and a list of discussion questions to help children and adults talk honestly about the difficult emotions that arise after the sudden loss of a loved one. Through conversations, pictures, sculpture, playacting, and more, children can share their fears, learn how to cope, and receive appropriate reassurance about their own safety.

MY Thoughts

This book, unfortunately in today’s climate, explains losing a friend through a traumatic experience. However, I think it could also be useful as a guide to talking with a child relating to death. As adults, we sometimes, can’t understand, so how does a child?

I thought that this book would be a very useful tool for an adult to broach such a hard topic. I also thought the guide, in assisting adults, to ask the proper questions was extremely insightful.

Recommended for children 4-8 years of age.


Publisher: Aspiring Families Press

Publication Date: April 14th 2017

ISBN-10: 0996194118

ISBN-13: 9780996194112

Pages: 30




“Divorce” is a big word…especially for little kids. It’s hard for young children to understand what the word means, let alone how it will impact their lives—and it’s hard for us, as grown-ups, to explain it to them in terms they can fully comprehend.

Nonetheless, when a child is involved in a family divorce or separation, it is crucial that he or she understands and embraces the changes… and this book will help you explain the transitions to your child.

Family Changes is a delightfully informative children’s book that tackles a complicated topic in compassionate, child-friendly terms. Ideal for young minds aged four through eight, it features a colorful cast of fuzzy characters led by a young bunny na­­med Zoey, who is struggling with her parents’ divorce and is riddled by important questions and feelings your child is likely to encounter.

In addition to the heartfelt story at its core, Family Changes also offers parents, therapists, teachers, and caregivers valuable information on how to ease children through this significant life change. A comprehensive note to parents and a list of essential child-focused questions are provided to guide the adult and child, and are certain to be an asset to both children and adults involved in the divorce/separation process.

MY Thoughts

Another hard topic for children to understand, and not blame themselves for, is Divorce.

The story is about a frightened bunny that is having to deal with her parent’s divorce. The fear, anxiety, where will she live, etc. that comes with a divorce.

Another excellent tool for parents to help their child during such a traumatic issue in his/her life. The author also includes a guide as to what and how to ask the hard questions.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

This book received the USA Best Book Award.


Publisher: Aspiring Families Press

Publication Date: May 28, 2015

ISBN-10: 099619410X

ISBN-13: 978-0996194105

Pages: 34



Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D.

Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and speaker, and an expert in child development, parenting, and psychotherapy. She has been working with children, parents, and families for over twenty years and has extensive experience in hospitals, schools, clinical agencies, and nonprofit organizations. She has also taught and supervised graduate and undergraduate students in child development, child therapy, play therapy, family therapy, parent guidance, trauma, and loss, and has published several research and theoretical articles in scientific, peer-reviewed professional psychology journals. She brings a wealth of experience working with divorcing families to Family Changes, which is certain to educate, enlighten, and empower children and parents.

“I was committed to writing this book because I love children, and connecting with and helping children makes me feel alive. Sometimes, even the smallest of interventions can profoundly shift a child’s developmental path and life experiences for the better, and when this occurs, my commitment and dedication to my work is reaffirmed. I am passionate about empowering children and enabling parents to be the best parents they can be.”

Dr. Azmaira H. Maker holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Vassar College (Phi Beta Kappa), and received her doctoral training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Dr. Maker completed her post-doctoral fellowship training at the University of Michigan Hospital, Department of Psychiatry. Her extensive experience in working with divorcing families, along with her specialized training at the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School provides her with extensive clinical skills and expert knowledge that guide the content of Family Changes.

“My draw to my work is the intense relationship and trust I have with each person, each parent, and each child. I experience individuals as unique, a kaleidoscope of characteristics, thoughts, feelings, and ways of being. I thrive on the path of hard work, discovery, insight, and growth. I often use the word ‘transformation or transfiguration’ with my clients.”

Dr. Maker currently resides in San Diego with her family and has a private practice in Del Mar. In her practice, Dr. Maker sees children, teenagers, families, and individual adults. She work with people presenting with a range of vulnerabilities and stressors, including divorce, trauma, loss (including pregnancy loss), infertility, anxiety, relationship/interpersonal struggles, depression, adoption, attachment, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and giftedness.

Connect with Azmaira H. Maker, Ph.D. at these sites:



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