A deeply felt, child-appropriate book on dying that’s resonant for all ages.




A debut picture book for children and adults that offers a positive perspective on loss and grief.

This elegantly simple book by Bertram, an art therapist, focuses on the close relationship between a grandmother and her grandchild. It’s told from the child’s point of view as the youngster processes the impending loss of a beloved grandmother, who once “bathed me, fed me, played with me and loved me.” The grandmother is nearing the end of her life (“[a]s I got bigger, the body Grandma’s spirit lived in became old and tired”), and now she’s being bathed, fed and loved with her grandchild’s help. Grandma’s spirit, the child says, has grown too big for the body that houses it; soon it will “rise up and she will become one with everything around me, including myself. She will be part of the rain, sun, wind, and trees.” In this comforting, soulful view of the afterlife, sunlight will be Grandma’s hug, and the rain will be Grandma saying hello. Sitting high in a “comfy” tree will be like sitting in Grandma’s lap (“I will hear her stories inside me”), and the wind will be Grandma’s invitation to run and play. And “one day,” as is the natural way of things, the child says, “I will grow too big for my house,” and “[a]s the wind, I will sing quietly in your ear….I will be the rain that taps you on the head.” The expressive flow and swirl of Bertram’s and DiGuiseppi’s colorful mixed-media illustrations provide a complementary backdrop to the well-crafted text. The author makes no reference to religion, instead offering readers of all ages an inclusive, uplifting message of transition, connection and spiritual renewal.

A deeply felt, child-appropriate book on dying that’s resonant for all ages.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615896267

Page Count: 32

Publisher: BravenArt

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2014

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More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves


A young child explores the unlimited potential inherent in all humans.

“Have you ever wondered why you are here?” asks the second-person narration. There is no one like you. Maybe you’re here to make a difference with your uniqueness; maybe you will speak for those who can’t or use your gifts to shine a light into the darkness. The no-frills, unrhymed narrative encourages readers to follow their hearts and tap into their limitless potential to be anything and do anything. The precisely inked and colored artwork plays with perspective from the first double-page spread, in which the child contemplates a mountain (or maybe an iceberg) in their hands. Later, they stand on a ladder to place white spots on tall, red mushrooms. The oversized flora and fauna seem to symbolize the presumptively insurmountable, reinforcing the book’s message that anything is possible. This quiet read, with its sophisticated central question, encourages children to reach for their untapped potential while reminding them it won’t be easy—they will make messes and mistakes—but the magic within can help overcome falls and failures. It’s unlikely that members of the intended audience have begun to wonder about their life’s purpose, but this life-affirming mood piece has honorable intentions. The child, accompanied by an adorable piglet and sporting overalls and a bird-beaked cap made of leaves, presents white.

More gift book than storybook, this is a meaningful addition to nursery bookshelves . (Picture book. 2-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-946873-75-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Compendium

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year.


From the Love Monster series

The surprised recipient of a box of chocolates agonizes over whether to eat the whole box himself or share with his friends.

Love Monster is a chocoholic, so when he discovers the box on his doorstep, his mouth waters just thinking about what might be inside; his favorite’s a double chocolate strawberry swirl. The brief thought that he should share these treats with his friends is easily rationalized away. Maybe there won’t be enough for everyone, perhaps someone will eat his favorite, or, even worse, leave him with his least favorite: the coffee one! Bright’s pacing and tone are on target throughout, her words conveying to readers exactly what the monster is thinking and feeling: “So he went into his house. And so did the box of chocolates…without a whisper of a word to anyone.” This is followed by a “queasy-squeezy” feeling akin to guilt and then by a full-tilt run to his friends, chocolates in hand, and a breathless, stream-of-consciousness confession, only to be brought up short by what’s actually in the box. And the moral is just right: “You see, sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others…that you start to find out just how much they think of you.” Monster’s wide eyes and toothy mouth convey his emotions wonderfully, and the simple backgrounds keep the focus on his struggle.

A treat to be savored—and a lesson learned—any time of year. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-00-754030-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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