Dealing with Life (a beautiful, changing, not easy thing) this author/illustrator team have created a lovely work that is truly poetic. Author Cynthia Rylant and Brendan Wenzel (illustrator) have created a home run out of the park with Life. While there is a lot of heartache to Life they show that there is a lot of good, too. The illustrations accent and compliment the text without over powering them.
After reading, and the ever bookseller, my brain did its check list: Do I like this? Check. Is it well written? Check. Are there lovely illustrations? Check. Who would I recommend this too…. Crickets. I had to stop and think. Who would enjoy this? Picture books are usually bedtime stories or let’s have a reading moment story. This is none of those. It then hit me. This could be a lovely gift for someone who has experienced a loss. Spiritual without being religious; sentimental without being sappy, this book would have been a welcomed gift during the loss of some of my family members. It is comforting, letting you know grief is okay, but things will be okay. There is always more Life.
It might seem odd to give a picture book called Life after someone has suffered a loss. I would most likely lean towards it as a sympathy give for the death of a friend or family member for the adult. It would work for an older child, too, if they had to move away from friends, or had a loss of a pet. It never mentions death, but does make me recall other non-rational books I have given or recommended to customers looking for “that different book” without going into the details on loss.
The other part of this book is it is Cynthia Rylant. If you know her work, you know you must read them all. She is just an amazing author that I might not have loved the book, but always appreciated. And I have found a new illustrator to enjoy with Brendan Wenzel.