Sgouros debuts with a terse story that packs a wallop--and it ought to, for its subject is grief. A young girl misses her mother, who has entered a hospital: ""She used to read to me and play games. She would tell me stories and I would tell her jokes. She's in the hospital now."" As her mother is uncomfortable much of the time, the girl has made her a special pillow. ""When she puts her head on it, she says she thinks of me and smiles."" Suddenly, a mere page later, the child says, ""I have the pillow now."" It is a comfort, something to be held close, and even inhaled. Sgouros encapsulates the nettles of worry and the flood of grief, giving them rawness; still, there is no sense of resignation or self-pity. Instead, she addresses the certainty of loss, the easing of sadness, and living with pain. Just as affecting are Ross's illustrations, expressing all the vulnerability of the young girl's plight.