Review Detail

Kids Fiction 302
Sorrow and Joy
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Both heart-wrenching and soul-soothing, this vibrantly illustrated story is a sort of basic introduction to the concept and impact of losing someone close to you.

An unnamed little girl opens by taking us through the seasons and all the adventures she's had with her beloved grandfather. Long walks hand in hand, exploring nature, playing together with secondhand racecars, writing and drawing... and vivid tales told about his boyhood homeland of India. Indeed, the little girl spends the first half of the book giving readers this adoring peek into her special relationship with her grandpa. All while also hinting that he isn't well.

And then, there is the somber aftermath of his parting. The girl has her precious memories stirred as she helps her parents clean out her Grandpa's room. She sees him in each of his belongings, from family photos to candy wrappers. She finds a brand new notebook in his old chair, with her name written on the front. And so, into the book he's left her she begins to write and draw, recoding all her best memories of her grandfather and their adventures together. The sadness, while brief, is palpable. But so too is the cherishing.

A bittersweet tribute to childhood love and remembrance. I would readily recommend this as a gentle childen's primer for coping with grief.
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