When a boy loses his father, waves of emotions wash over him as he grieves and begins to heal.
At the dinner table, in the car, at a game—in everyday moments the absence of his father is felt. Fear, anger, and sadness roll in, unpredictable and overwhelming, as his father’s items are both treasured and broken. Some days the boy feels numb, and sometimes happiness slips in. Simple drawings with loose washes of color provide literal interpretations of the text, waves looming and engulfing the boy. Moments are represented like pictographs, making this offering seem like a handbook or guide rather than a true picture book. The text’s acknowledgement of the various emotions and slow healing process is much needed, and the support group, grief first-aid kit, memory box, and memory chair are important tools that are discussed. Moments when the family members share stories, make music, or just hold one another and listen to each other breathe show healing in process. Finally, when the difficult waves break, the boy has learned to surf them out toward peace. The boy and his family have brown skin and dark hair.
A worthwhile endeavor that unfortunately falls short in artistic execution but that offers some resources for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one. (Picture book. 4-8)