Death is never a pleasant subject and when it is a parent who has died (and they leave behind a young child), it can be extra unpleasant. All types of emotions can occur for that child and Holly Thompson created one way you and your child can deal with the subject in One Wave at a Time: A Story about Grief and Healing.
As odd as it might seem, this is a lovely modern story about grief. It is not “in your face” or overly “preachy” as some books can be (this is how you must grieve; this is how you will be grieving). Thompson just shows you how one child is dealing (or not dealing) with the loss of the father. They show you how grief is always ebbing and flowing; it is a wave that can come and go. Thompson shows you what surrounds the child and their family. I have not looked at the sources included, but they seem like they would be very helpful.
The art is lovely and perfectly suited for the somber, but hopeful, tone of the story. Ashley Crowley created art that is bright, but not overpowering. The image can look to be “melting” in some places, but they are solid and realistic. The illustrations are showing the emotions that are being presented and how the child is feeling. They, like the text, are both somber and hopeful. They capture the moments and compliment the text of Thompson.
Even as an adult, I saw some of the emotions I have dealt with over the years. This might be a good book to introduce to the child not as their first grief book, or the first book to go to while dealing with grief, but if the child is struggling or has questions months or even years later. I recently sent my copy to a cousin as her son (who is autistic) has been asking about his father who passed several years ago. Other books I have read deal with the “immediate aftermath” and not so much the “later times.” This might help with those times.