By: Renee Londner
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: February 2013
Grandpa’s tombstone was covered with a cloth, but it was time to head to the cemetery to unveil it. It was hard because the memories didn’t go away and the little boy missed him, but “Mommy says the first year is the hardest.” There were so many things that were “firsts” in his life. When they put the leaves across the top of the sukkah and hung the lights it was hard. No Grandpa. When he held the chocolate gelt in his hands it was hard because Grandpa wasn’t going to spin “his lucky dreidel.” The last year’s Purim parade saw Grandpa dressed up as a cowboy. It would be the “first Passover without Grandpa hiding the afikomen.” No Grandpa.
Mommy sat on the couch stroking the little boy’s hair as he remembered how Grandpa picked him up and cuddled him when things were going wrong. She told him that “whenever we feel sad, we should remember Grandpa laughing.” When he cuddled him, his glasses has slipped down to the bottom of his nose and that’s exactly what he did ... laugh. He had a special “wooden memory box” Mommy had given him too. There were things in there that he could hold and remember Grandpa. There was even his lucky dreidel. Yes, there were lots of special memories, but they weren’t all in that little box. What would happen when they went to visit Grandpa at the cemetery?
This is a special book of remembrance when a family celebrates the life of Grandpa at the cemetery. The story recounts the year after Grandpa dies, bringing the joyful memories back to life when a young boy thinks about how special he was. The book swirls through the year with memories of special things they did together. When he is looking at a picture album with his Mommy he is worried about his memories getting lost. Mommy states that it “won’t happen” because “memories of someone you love never get lost.” The scene at the cemetery is realistic as the artwork captures not only the joy of remembrance, but also the tears. This is a perfect book to help young children work through their grief and keep those special memories of a special someone alive.
Quill says: This is an excellent book that will help families learn how to deal with the grief young children experience when someone close to them dies.