What I loved: This picture book deals with a complex topic in an approachable and understandable way. While grief/depression is not so easily visualized in real life, the block presents a way for children to understand and conceptualize it. This is a great way to begin a discussion about grief/depression in their own lives and/or of that in others’ lives.
The images are lovely, spanning whole pages with lots of color and detail that will appeal to the targeted audience. The animals are both cute and brightly colored, and the butterflies that surround Norris and locations are simply lovely. All are well suited to complement the text.
With the added message about friendship being important, this book gives toddlers and early elementary school students some key actions and points for understanding. While the topic is heavy, I found the overall tone to be well-suited to the younger audience without going too far one way or the other (too heavy-handed or too light). This would be helpful for young readers to understand their own feelings or those of others in an approachable way.
Final verdict: This sweet picture book contains some big and important lessons, handled in an age-appropriate manner. Ideal for children who are dealing with grief/sadness or who know others dealing with these big feelings, it displays how friendship can help to lighten (though not get rid of) the load.