K-Gr 2Though Spelman's book is not unique, it deals with the subject of grief in a compassionate, understanding way. While the focus is on the individual hardships of losing a loved one, the story also highlights the importance of seeking help from a therapist. This, ultimately, is the only way Charlotte and her father can come to grips with their grief. The soft watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations work well with the text and sensitively convey the characters' emotions. Similar to E. Sandy Powell's Geranium Morning (Carolrhoda, 1990), Spelman's title goes a step further by discussing the importance of seeking professional help. A solid choice.Denise Furgione, Atlantic County Library, Mays Landing, NJ
This concept book features a six-year-old dealing with the recent death of her mother. Charlotte feels angry with Mom, estranged from her grieving and preoccupied Dad, and afraid that she, or her father, may also die. Because the confusion of these emotions sometimes causes her to lash out at others, Dad arranges for her to talk with a therapist, who helps her to acknowledge these feelings and develop a more positive outlook toward the future. Friedman's soft watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add a soothing touch, helping to mute the raw emotions expressed in the text. The characters' reactions ring true, and the description of play therapy techniques will reassure parents and children dealing with a similar situation.