When a close family member dies, a child can feel lost, confused and frightened. At the time the child most needs the comfort and support of parents, the parents may be distracted or busy due to precisely the same sad event. This book proves a bridge for children to help them through this uncertain period of time and explains in simple, non-threatening terms some of the activity they are witnessing which they are unable to understand on their own. It is geared in terms of language, illustrations, and concepts to the Orthodox reader but the subject matter is handled deftly and can be modified or adapted for the child of any family going through a loss. There is workbook space for expressing feelings and drawing pictures and there are tips and strategies for adults to use as they help their children process the family changes in the most wholesome and constructive way possible. The color illustrations are age-appropriate and incorporate the workbook features. A glossary of Hebrew terms used in the text is provided as well as a preface written for adults which will help the grownups see the proceedings from a child’s point of view. This is a sensitively writ- ten and useful tool written by a gerontologist and rabbi-psychologist, helpful in navigating a painful and difficult transition in a healthy, productive way.
Recommended for ages 4 – 10 and would be most highly recommended, when possible, for use by parents and children together.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.