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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
Girl, nine, pens self-help tips
Milly Bell and her mother Gaynor Appleby
Milly's mother Gaynor Appleby helped put the book together
A nine-year-old girl whose father died of a brain tumour has had her book about how to cope with death published.

Milly Bell's father Simon Bell died in May 2006 at the age of 37.

The youngster wrote My Daddy Is Dying, a compilation of drawings and games she created to deal with her impending loss, at the age of seven.

She said: "I wrote about the things I found difficult like going to sleep. I hope that my book helps other children and lets them know they are not alone."

The book deals with a four-month period when her father was seriously ill. Milly would read to him every day and help with his medication.

Milly, from Exeter, said: "When Daddy was dying I thought I was the only child this was happening to and I thought: How can I help other children?"

A page from My Daddy Is Dying
Splattering paint can make you feel better, I hid my dad's name on a page with lots of paint splattered across it
Write your own recipe for a Happy Feelings Cake and draw a picture of it
Choose some colours that show your feelings and put them on the chart
When my dad was dying I found it hard to sleep at night, I would think of this picture and it would take my mind off my worries
I drew this diagram to help me understand about the cycle of life and how like trees and plants, we all live and die

In one activity, she advises readers to add happy thoughts as ingredients in a Happy Feelings Cake.

The work was put together by her mother, Gaynor Appleby, who separated from Mr Bell in 2000 and later remarried.

She said Milly had shown great courage during the illness.

"I told her straight away that her father had cancer. She was amazingly strong and grown up about it.

"Then one day she came downstairs at my mum's house with drawings and puzzles.

"Milly is very pleased to see how her work has turned out."

Milly received a Children of Courage award in Westminster Abbey in 2006.

Her book has been published by Mr Bell's former employer, Western Power Distribution, a South West electricity company and the Exeter-based cancer bereavement charity Force.


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