This Friday is no ordinary Friday. It's a solemn day, yet part of a deep and radiant story rich with meaning. The painted blue sky and beaming sunshine happen to be in full force here, a reminder to me that life goes on brilliantly after death. And without suffering, our great moments wouldn't seem so great.
It is with these thoughts that I share a picture book with you my daughter has read every night this week–one that has challenged her and gripped her emotionally. It's a soft book, a "quiet" picture book, yet captured my daughter's attention easily. Last night, she finally realized what it was all about: saying goodbye at the end of life. And I realized again how powerful picture books can be.
In conjunction with Good Friday, our household is celebrating our kittens' first birthdays–an event that recently sparked my daughter to ask, "How many years do cats live, exactly?"
Today's Perfect Picture Book doesn't answer that question, but has taken my daughter and I through an emotional journey of one cat's last moments in the most beautiful way possible.
Today's Perfect Picture Book is...
The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye
By Jane Yolen
Illustrator: Jim LaMarche
Publisher: Random House, 2011
Category: Death, Loss, Pet, Nature
From Amazon: "Not since The 10th Good Thing About Barney or I'll Always Love You has there been such a peaceful and inspiring book to help children and adults cope with the loss of a pet...Tiger Rose's kitten days are long gone and she's grown too tired to stay, so she says her goodbyes to all the creatures and the joys of her natural world—from the scolding blue jay...to her favorite shady patch under a piney bush.
The day Tiger Rose said goodbye
was a soft spring day, the sun only half risen.
Little brilliant butterflies,
like bits of colored paper,
floated among the flowers.
Why I chose it: See above. But I also chose it because it's written boldly. Every word used is used on purpose. Jim LaMarche's colored sketches are beautiful as well.
Resources: Please see Patricia Tilton's website for more resources. She also chose this as a Perfect Picture Book in 2011. You can learn more about Perfect Picture Book Fridays at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.
Comments are open.
Happy Easter, everyone!