An approachable book about losing a loved one and honoring their memory.

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NANA'S MAGIC SWING

A boy copes with the death of his great-grandmother by sharing memories with others in Shindle’s debut picture book.

Graham loves going to his Nana’s house. Specifically, he loves her “pillow-soft lap” and how she calls him a “honeybunch of stink weeds.” Most of all, he loves her backyard’s “magic swing.” Each visit, they get out a map and decide where the swing will take them. Together, they imagine adventures, such as flying from Canada to Australia. But one day, Graham finds out that his Nana has died, and he’s unsure how to handle it. A family gathering where they remember and talk about Nana is hard for him; the funeral, where Graham sees Nana’s body, is difficult, too. He struggles with being sad, mad, and worried, but when his siblings join him on the magic swing, he finds Nana’s map in the cushions and realizes he can share her magic. Overall, this is a touching and straightforward work. Helpful notes at the end will assure grieving children that whatever feelings they have about loss are OK, and they offer tips on how to cope. Shindle’s prose is simple enough for independent readers to grasp, and the illustrations of Graham’s Caucasian family land somewhere between cartoonish and realistic.

An approachable book about losing a loved one and honoring their memory.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9622-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Oct. 24, 2018

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CINDERELLA

This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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