Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I’m taking a break from reading fabulous #50PreciousWords entries in order to share a fabulous new book that launches March 14. GRANDPA’S WINDOW by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Udayana Lugo will capture your hearts and help young children who are experiencing loss.
Written by Laura Gehl
Illustrated by Udayana Lugo
Published by Flyaway Books
Themes: Loss, imagination, family
Synopsis: From Amazon:
Every window at the hospital faces dull, gray buildings―except the one in Grandpa’s room. Grandpa can see the ocean every day! When Daria visits, she and Grandpa look out at the beach, hoping they will build sandcastles and fly kites together again.
This touching exploration of a child’s experience of loss offers an unexpected ending, encouraging creativity and self-expression in the midst of grief.
Grandpa’s Window addresses the grieving process, both as a family member approaches the end of life as well as after death. The book includes a note for adults by Dr. Sharie Coombes (www.drsharie.com), child and family psychotherapist, about how to support children who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
Why I Love This Book:
1. I love books that deal with tough topics like loss of a family member.
2. I love how the beautiful text and glorious art partner to create a book kids will love to read.
3. I love that a child’s imagination can help heal their heart.
And lucky us…Laura stopped by to chat about the path to publication for this book.
VIVIAN: What was a challenging moment for you when working on this book?
LAURA: I had just lost my mom when I first started writing GRANDPA’S WINDOW. I was so grief-stricken myself when writing that my initial drafts were just too sad. There was hope and healing…but there was too much sadness. Over time, as I worked through my grief and helped my kids work through theirs, I was able to regain my perspective and get the balance right.
VIVIAN: Any other interesting moments along the path to publication you would like to share?
LAURA: Initially, the book featured a grandmother, which makes sense, because my kids had just lost their grandmother (my mom). But then my dad died, dealing my kids a second horrible blow, and my publisher wondered about changing the grandmother to a grandfather. It felt exactly right at the time to make that change. Both of my parents are reflected in aspects of the grandfather in the published book, including his difficulty breathing, his inability to communicate verbally toward the end, and the joy he gets from his granddaughter’s art.
Thank you so much, Laura. I know it took courage to move ahead with this book. It’s a book that will help many people…and not just children.
There are additional resources written by Laura for parents and teachers on the Flyaway books site: https://www.flyawaybooks.com/book/grandpas-window
And the lovely Laura is offering a giveaway of a copy of GRANDPA’s WINDOW…please make sure you leave a comment and also share the post on your social media to spread the word about this important book!
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. I plan to finish reading the #50PreciousWords entries and will be meeting with all of the judges – the stories are amazing – it will be a challenge to choose. The Literacy Initiative is a great success so far – and books are still being ordered at Balin Books in Nashua and there is plenty of time since I won’t be delivering the books to the schools until the beginning of April. I’m also collecting a sizable pile of books that several authors have sent me of their own books! The school librarians will definitely be smiling!
I’m so sorry for your losses, Laura. What a lovely way to honor both their memories as well as bring support and comfort to so many kids and families!
How touching! I know for a fact that kids need books like this to help them through difficult emotions. They need to know that grief is real and it manifests in different ways, even anger, and that’s okay!
I want to read Grandpa’s Window. the tone will offer guidance for me on a MS I am working on as well. Looks like a super helpful story for families to explore together.
TU, for posting this book…and so many other wonderful creations.
What a beautiful way to turn grief into a positive moment. Congratulations on your book and so sorry for your loss.
So sorry for your losses, Laura. I was lucky enough to be close to all 4 of my grandparents. When each passed, it was so difficult. My grandfather passed when I was 17 and the rest after that. I can’t even imagine how your kids felt. I’m so glad you wrote this book to help children through this. Congratulations on your book!
How touching! Thanks for sharing your heart and healing with us and with kids, Laura.
This would be a good book for my girls
A wonderful healing book. Laura this is very special.
A fantastic book on a much needed topic for children. Shared a tweet @bamauthor