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Children's Fiction Death & Dying

Granny Left Me a Rocket Ship

by (author) Heather Smith

illustrated by Ashley Barron

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Death & Dying, Imagination & Play, Multigenerational
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


From award-winning author Heather Smith, a heartwarming, moving story about loss - and remembering.

When Granny dies, a young child and their family have a hole in their hearts. They find it helps them fill it to remember her through the things she left behind. To the father, she left a tuba, and to the mother, a locket. To the sister, she left a microscope, and to the brother, a record collection. To the main character, though, Granny left something different: a world of adventure, that they visit with their memories. Through imaginative play with items that belonged to Granny, the child travels near and far. And Granny is right beside them, along for the ride.

Using spare prose, award-winning author Heather Smith's beautiful story about loss, grief and memories presents an honest yet optimistic view of how to joyfully remember loved ones after they're gone. Ashley Barron's layered cut-paper collage illustrations bring fun to the story, while colorfully capturing the feel of a child's imagination in flight. This book provides a gentle, thoughtful entryway into a conversation with children - or adults - about losing a loved one, and how to hold them close. It's a wonderful resource for focusing on social-emotional learning, and an excellent representation for a character education lesson on resilience.

About the authors

Heather Smith's profile page

Ashley Barron moved to Toronto upon graduating from OCAD’s illustration program in 2007. She lives and works as an illustrator from her studio near Kensington market. She uses paper collage to illustrate just about everything for magazines, advertising, and animation. Over the past two years, Ashley illustrated the four Math in Nature books for Owlkids. She is an avid gardener and lover of flora and fauna, the details of which can be found in her art.

Ashley Barron's profile page

Editorial Reviews

... one of the year's best books.—Quill & Quire, starred review (praise for Ebb and Flow)

Heartbreaking---but uplifting.—Kirkus Reviews (praise for Ebb and Flow)

... a powerful and poetic story of emotional endurance.—School Library Journal, starred review (praise for Ebb and Flow)

Other titles by Heather Smith

Other titles by Ashley Barron