When her grandmother isn’t able to sing and dance anymore, a young girl finds a way to keep their music alive in Pova’s (If I Weren’t with You, 2017, etc.) picture book.
Music and dancing make the days pass quickly for Sarah and her grandma, who spin, skip, chant, and croon in the park and the living room, among wildflowers, and at their annual Fall Festival performance. But as time passes, Sarah’s grandmother can’t move and sing like she used to. Sarah, with her mother’s encouragement, learns that although her grandmother can’t join her onstage, she’ll still be there through the music they share. With warm colors and soft backdrops, Allen’s (Penny Helps...Protect the Polar Ice Caps, 2015, etc.) illustrations subtly show the seasons’ progression, emphasizing gradual loss; although Sarah and her grandmother’s song and dance are constants, the leaves shift from green to orange. The emphasis on simplicity effectively captures the emotion in the characters’ facial expressions and imbues Pova’s story with a hint of bittersweet nostalgia. Although the text sometimes lacks the musicality that’s so integral to the tale, the seamless integration of words, illustrations, and emotions makes for a heartwarming book.
A thoughtfully crafted story that offers a gentle means to talk about loss with children.