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…
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.