My cousin and I were texting a few days before the new year. She mentioned her youngest son was having issues dealing with the death of his father. Now, this is not unusual, but he passed a couple of years ago. You would think he would have been dealing with things then. But he is autistic and was young when his dad passed. Now he is starting to “mature” and realize the things that kids do about death, such as: Dad is not coming back so will dad forget me? Will I forget him?
She then mentioned she found A Hug from Heaven by Anna Whiston-Donaldson. It is a picture book with a religious theme to it. It is about loss and death that is told from the point of view of the person who has passed away. However, you might be able to adapt it to read as if it was a pet. Yet the illustrations do show people.
The theme shows that the person who is gone is still there through memories, looking down from heaven and more. It explains things you can do and say to remember the loved one. It mentions different ways death can occur (accident, age, illness) and throughout is a soft tone. God and heaven are mentioned on almost every page. Therefore, it might not be for someone who does not have a religious based faith. Of course, then it would work well for someone who does and is trying to deal with a death with a young child.
The illustrations are equally soft. I am assuming Andrea Alemanno wanted a heavenly approach to them with the colors and way created. They are solid but have a lack of dark lines to interrupt the flow. I am assuming, if not watercolor, they were created to have a watercolor affect. Text and art do not overpower each other.
And while I would not necessarily want this book for my own collection, I know a few people this would be perfect for. I was also thinking this might be a book you could give to an adult as well, though it is aimed at the four to eight year-old-range. Doing research, I found an adult memoir of her own loss of a child in Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love. Perhaps if you need or have an adult in need of comfort, you might check this one out as well.