With the news this week of one of New Zealand’s sporting legend’s death at the young age of 40 years, Jono Lomu was known around the world as a Rugby great… It is a time of remembering and reflecting on a big guy with an even bigger heart. (he popped into my shop a few times over the years) http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/34853536
I thought this was a poignant picture book to share…
Written and Illustrated by: Benji Davies
Published by: Simon and Schuster in Great Britain 2005
Ages: 3 – 7 years
Theme: loss, death, memories, bonding, adventure
Opening Lines: At the bottom of Syd’s garden, through the gate and past the tree, was Granda’s house. There was a key under the flowerpot and Syd could let himself in any time that he liked.
Synopsis: (from the back of the book and amazon) Syd loves Grandad, Grandad loves Syd. And that will never change. A beautiful and comforting book that shows how those who are dear to us remain near to us,- however far away they may seem it is tenderly told by the award winning author of The Storm Whale.
Why I like it: This is a gorgeous book with bright colourful artwork dealing tenderly with a difficult subject to explain to small children. The friendship and bond between Syd (the grandchild), and his grandfather is obvious within the first couple of sentences. He’s allowed to pop in to visit his Grandad whenever he wishes and Grandad is quite the adventurer and loves spending time with his grandson. As a reader we are taken along on a journey through his attic on a ship to an island. Yes you read this right. We find ourselves caught up in their whimsical adventure through bright coloured jungle scenes and laugh and delight in the fun they have spending time together. Eventually it is time to return; only Grandad will not be returning. A lump in the throat moment and a surprise, yet tender ending, has you closing the book with a smile. Death is never mentioned but it’s there and I guess Grandad’s know how best to say goodbye.
It’s not so much the limited time we have together but being thankful for the memories we have.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate at this time of year.
Resources/Findings: … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ-wFuPmS6o
Author/illustrator’s website; http://www.benjidavies.com/blog/
A great interview with Benji on my good friend Joanna’s blog… http://joannamarple.com/2015/02/illustrator-interview-benji-davies/
Catch up with what Benji is doing on his facebook page… https://www.facebook.com/benjidaviesdraws/
This is an interesting blog I came across, interesting notes further down…. http://www.healingcenterseattle.org/children/grieving-children/
Another great blog with some books and resources on grief for children by another friend, Patricia Tilton.. http://childrensbooksheal.com/tag/grief/
I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view. So pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.
What a heartwarming story! I am curious enough about the ending to read it since it has to do with loss and saying goodbye. Excellent choice along with resources. Happy spring/summer. We’ve had very warm weather up until a few days ago.
Thanks Pat. It’s a lovely story. Yep summer is now here although we have had an evening of lightening and storm weather, but that will pass. Enjoy your autumn/fall.
I’ve been wanting to read this book, and will do so in memory of another player and friend of the family who lost his life during a game. Thank you, Diane.
Thanks Julie. Sorry to hear of a loss of a family friend. This is a tender story I think you will enjoy.
Love Benji’s books and I have seen this one being advertised. So happy you reviewed it today.
Thanks Joanna. Yes I see he was interviewed on your blog. Hope you are having a great weekend.
I remember this book. I love Benji’s illustrations. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks ManjuBeth. Nice to hear from you. He does some colourful illustrations.
What a wonderful book. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Enjoy your spring. Fall is not hard to take here in Spain as it is still around 20 C and sunny. Hugs.
Thanks Darlene. Enjoy your fall. Summer is now kicking in with the weather getting warmer. Just had an evening of lightening and storm but will pass. I love the long days now and my vege garden is doing really well.
Oh, wow – those illustrations are so bright and cheerful. Perfect antidote to the winter blahs. thanks for sharing.
What an interesting book, and so touching. I love the devotion between granddad and grandson.