Daily Archives: January 21, 2020

Book Review: Remembering Ethan – Beautiful Book that Helps Children Work Through Grief

Remembering Ethan

By Leslea Newman

Illustrated by Tracy Nishimura Bishop

Sarah’s big brother Ethan died. She thinks about him and misses him all of the time. Her Mommy and Daddy won’t talk about him, so she thinks they do not miss him. Buttons, her cat, is the only one that seems to understand how sad she is.

One day she is so lonely and frustrated, she goes into Ethan’s room and sits down at his desk. She writes his name all over a paper and then draws a picture of Ethan giving Buttons and her a double piggy-back ride. But when she puts the picture on the fridge, her mommy and daddy get really upset.

Later, Mommy and Daddy are sitting on the couch and have placed the picture she drew on the wall over the fireplace. Daddy explained that they were very sad, but her picture helps them remember Ethan. Then they looked at pictures of their whole family, especially Ethan and remember how much they love him.

This touching picture book is heartbreakingly beautiful. The feelings that Sarah has as well as her parents are gently there for the reader to think about, especially if they have lost a loved one. Telling the story from Sarah’s point of view gives a voice to the feelings children may have after losing a sibling or other special person.

After the story is a section for parents or caregivers about dealing with and processing the grief of a child after the loss of a sibling. I sincerely hope you don’t have to deal with this reality in your life, but if you do, this book will help.

I highly recommend this book for all children and parents. Unfortunately, death touches all people and coping can be especially difficult. Be it the loss of a pet, a grandparent, neighbor or someone else your child is connected to, Remembering Ethan will help you help them and you cope with the loss.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: The Off-Beat Cinder Ella Who Wants Her Shoe Back…Without the Prince

The Off-Beat Cinder Ella Who Wants Her Shoe Back…Without the Prince

By Anne Murray

This modern-day fairy tale is all about Cinder Ella AKA Cheyenne and her mean stepmother and stepsisters. She has the same troubles as the old version of the story, has to clean up after the awful new wife and new siblings her father brings into the house, there is a dance, a shoe and a prince-ish guy that comes looking for her. She also seems to have figured life out by the end and will live happily ever after without the prince.

Moving through the story at breakneck speed, Cheyenne/Cinder Ella is much more mature than the suggested age group. It is written for 7 to 12-year-olds and is more suited for the older end of this age group due to the vocabulary. Let me make it perfectly clear that there is nothing inappropriate at all, but the maturity level to understand words such as obligatory, endorsed, drudgery and taffeta would be lost on most 7-year-olds.

The illustrations are enchantingly beautiful, bringing the characters to life. It isn’t a graphic novel, nor is it a picture book. The 7 and 8-year-olds would love the illustrations, but most 12-year-olds don’t need illustrated books.

The conclusion of The Off-Bead Cinder Ella Who Wants Her Shoe Back…Without the Prince is my favorite part of this book. She lives happily ever after on her terms, which is the best way for anyone to be truly happy.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Reedsy Discovery (https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/the-off-beat-cinder-ella-who-wants-her-shoe-back-without-the-prince-anne-murray) in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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