Sunday, June 14, 2015
Author Sandy Lanton has taken a sensitive subject and written a touching book about dealing with loss. Brothers Joshua and Michael are with their mother who is sitting Shiva, the seven day mourning custom in the Jewish religion. At first, Michael is having issues with anyone using his father's chair. He makes a sign letting everyone know not to sit in his father's place. His mother gently reminds him that he'd been very ill, and has passed away from cancer. Michael is having issues about things his father did for him, and in turn different family members talk lovingly about his father and honor him with sweet remembrances. Michael deals with individual issues, finally realizing that when he misses his father's hugs, he will sit in his chair and embrace his teddy for comfort.
The illustrations are beautiful, Lanton describes the mourning traditions with clear language. This is a difficult topic, yet the author handles it deftly, with a gentle touch. It did bring a tear to my eye when Michael finally accepts his father's passing, but it is a good guide for anyone in need of helping a child deal with a great loss. While it is a sad subject, the family's remembrances remain a celebration of the father's life as well a story about a child finally coping with losing someone important in their life.
Carole P. Roman