One spring morning young Finn finds a big white feather on his doorstep that, he thinks, was sent by his brother from heaven.
His mother and teacher only smile when he announces that it’s from Hamish, but his friend Lucas gets properly excited: “It’s amazing!” he marvels and then asks Finn what he’s going to do with it. First the two lads construct a pretend castle (from, in the colored-pencil illustrations, improbably large logs) and place the feather right on top; then it’s off to have further fun with chases and with tickles, to mount a rescue when it’s blown into a tree, and finally to write a letter to Hamish with it—“I whish you were here,” the little boy prints carefully—to be likewise deposited in a tree for the wind to deliver. Despite the situation (Noble herself lost a son named Hamish, according to the flap copy) and the pictures’ muted colors and soft focus, the episode is less about grieving the loss of a loved one than finding positive ways to remember and to regard the deceased. Finn and his mother are white; Lucas, their teacher, and some of the children in several scenes have slightly darker complexions.
A good choice to share with a bereaved child: poignant, but not heavily sentimental. (Picture book. 6-8)