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After the phenomenal success of The Storm Whale and On Sudden Hill, this new book by Benji Davies deals with the emotional topic of losing a grandparent. Subtly told, this beautifully illustrated book tackles a difficult subject with great sensitivity and depth.
At the bottom of Syd’s garden, through the gate and past the tree, is Grandad’s house. Syd can let himself in any time he likes. But one day when Syd comes to call, Grandad isn’t in any of the usual places. He’s in the attic, where he ushers Syd through a door, and the two of them journey to a wild, beautiful island awash in color where Grandad decides he will remain. So Syd hugs Grandad one last time and sets sail for home. Visiting Grandad’s house at the bottom of the garden again, he finds it just the same as it’s always been – except that Grandad isn’t there anymore. Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, Benji Davies’s tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they’re gone.
Praise for Grandad’s Island:
‘Davies’s elegantly rough illustrations, evoking a child’s paintings, tap into the imagination of death with little fuss, and his story declines to offer kids instruction on how to feel. Indeed, Grandad’s Island doesn’t mention death at all, but is deeply in touch with the ways in which loss and abundance commingle in the mind, correcting and assuaging each other.’ The New York Times Book Review ‘The creator of The Storm Whale (2014) offers another thoughtful picture book guaranteed to spark discussion…Recommend to young families dealing with loss, especially those who prefer to gloss over the scientific realities.’ Booklist Online ‘As with The Storm Whale, Davies offers a story of loneliness and togetherness distinguished by understated, deeply felt emotions and a nautical milieu.’ Publishers Weekly ‘This book is innovative and useful as a way to talk about the idea of loss-without ever referring to actual death. Parents and educators can use this to talk with a child about how it’s normal to be sad and miss loved ones…Cheerful, brightly colored illustrations make this a fine choice to use with the youngest of audiences. Since death isn’t directly specified, this title also works for when a child’s loved one is moving far away. An excellent vehicle to gently approach the topic of loss. Recommended for collections needing these types of materials.’ School Library Journal ‘Grandad’s Island by British author-illustrator Benji Davies (The Storm Whale; Bizzy Bear series) celebrates a close grandfather-grandson relationship with warmth and style. Whether it’s read as a picture book about love, loss or just missing someone who isn’t around anymore, it’s a charmer. Cheerful cinematic spreads invite young readers into all sorts of intriguing places, from a cozy attic full of curiosities like a turtle teapot, to a vast ship’s deck, to the deep jungle of an island paradise.’ Shelf Awareness for Readers ‘A resonant, layered tale that will only gain in texture as its readers get older.’ USA Today
July 2nd, 2015
AR book level: 3.0; Lower years; 0.5 points
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