Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 4 to 12
- Grade: 2 to 5
How do we say goodbye to a loved one after they die? This book broaches a difficult topic in a heartfelt way by exploring the beauty in how animals mourn. From elephants to whales, parrots to bonobos, and lemurs to humans, we all have rituals to commemorate our loved ones and to lift each other up in difficult times.
New from the award-winning team behind You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, and You Are Never Alone, this book gently recognizes death as a natural part of life for humans and all animals. Written in spare, poetic language and illustrated with stunning dioramas, it draws out our similarities with other animals as it honors the universal experience of mourning. The touching and uplifting book ends on a hopeful note, showing how we live on both in memories and on the planet, our bodies nourishing new life in the Earth and the oceans.
About the authors
ELIN KELSEY, PhD, is an award-winning author and a leading spokesperson for hope and the environment. In 2014, she co-created #OceanOptimism, a twitter campaign to crowd-source and share ocean conservation successes which has reached 90 million users to date. She frequently works on projects with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Stanford University and the University of Victoria and is passionate about engaging kids in hopeful, science-based, environmental solutions. See more at www.elinkelseyandcompany.com.
Soyeon Kim is a Korean-born artist and educator currently living in Toronto. She is a graduate of the Visual Arts and Education programs at York University and has participated in artist residences at the Hermitage (St. Petersburg, Russia), Spark Box Studios (Picton, Ontario) and the Toronto Public Library. She has illustrated a number of children's picture books, including Once Upon an Hour, You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, Is This Panama?, Sukaq and the Raven, You Are Never Alone and A Last Goodbye. Soyeon won the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator’s Award in 2013.
- Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award
- Commended, A Kirkus Best Picture Book of 2020
- Commended, Texas Topaz Reading List selection
- Short-listed, Silver Birch Express Award
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection
"Scientifically sound and philosophically profound."
Kirkus Reviews - STARRED REVIEW
"The book adopts a gentle tone and establishes a mood of reverence and respect through Elin Kelsey’s written text and Soyeon Kim’s attractive artwork."
Canadian Review of Materials
"A lovely piece of enhanced nonfiction... Thoughtful and eye-opening."
School Library Journal
"This stunning picture book is unusual in many ways, from its unique and seldom-explored topic to the illustrations done in collage and created using dioramas."
"Gentle and reassuring, with amazing artwork once again, this is a book that is as hopeful as it is beautiful."
Sal's Fiction Addiction
"Kim's absorbing dioramas create tender scenes of community, intimacy, and loss...readers will appreciate the matter-of-fact, never emotionally prescriptive look at creatures’ mourning behaviors."