This book aims to help young children cope with the loss of a pet.
Zack’s dog, Jojo, aged, fell sick, and died; this weekend will be Zack’s first without him. Despite his parents’ best efforts to make Zack feel better—they buy him a cupcake and promise to adopt a new dog soon—he is sad and angry. The stages of grief are clearly written and illustrated throughout the book, with ghost Jojo appearing on most pages to watch over Zack, who is clearly in pain. When his friend Emily, whose cat died recently, sees him crying, she tells him that the pets aren’t actually gone forever because there is an “Invisible Leash” that connects their hearts after the pets go to the place “beyond.” Zack is understandably skeptical, but Emily insists that just because he can’t see the Leash doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and if he tries, he will be able to feel it. Emily does her best to convince Zack, and here the writing gets repetitive, until he finally believes and is able to sleep knowing Jojo is always with him. Zack is biracial—his dad is black and his mom is white—and Emily appears white. This is the author and illustrator’s The Invisible String (2018) for pets, so readers will not find anything new here. Still, some pet parents might find this helpful for grieving children.
Repetitive—but a potential resource. (Picture book. 3-6)