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by Laura Gehl ; illustrated by Udayana Lugo

Pub Date: March 14th, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-947888-40-1
Publisher: Flyaway Books

Daria processes her grandfather’s death.

“Most of the windows at the hospital [look] out on dull, gray buildings,” but Daria’s grandpa’s window looks out over the ocean. When Daria, a tan-skinned kid with black pigtails, visits, they watch the waves together and talk about what they’ll do once Grandpa, who is light-skinned, feels better. Sadly, Grandpa’s condition worsens; one day he is “too weak to move to a chair,” and later he relies on an oxygen mask. Daria stays by his side, keeping his spirits up. Gehl gently signals Grandpa’s death across two wordless spreads: one where Daria’s parents (one of whom is tan-skinned with dark hair; the other of whom is light-skinned with brown hair) have a tearful conversation with her; and another where Daria cries herself to sleep, her bedside lamp illuminating a photograph of her and Grandpa. Lugo’s poignant images allow adults to choose how they want to describe Grandpa’s demise (though backmatter by Dr. Sharie Coombes, a child psychologist, recommends that adults use clear, nonabstract terms). When Daria and her dad go to the hospital to collect Grandpa’s belongings, “Daria carrie[s] Grandpa’s window”—not a physical one but rather the drawings she created to comfort Grandpa. Offering a tender view of one girl’s experience, this powerful picture book shows children that they can feel both heartbreak and ongoing love simultaneously. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A touching window into a child’s mourning process.

(organizations offering support on grief) (Picture book. 4-7)