Zayde Comes to Live

Sheri Sinykin, illus. by Kristina Swarner. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-631-4
Rachel learns that the impending death of her grandfather—her zayde—doesn’t have to be tragic in this beautiful and accessible tale that gives expression to many children’s fears about dying. Now that her elderly grandfather has moved in with her family, Rachel sees firsthand his waning energy and confused moments, and is worried about where he will go when he dies. When her Christian and Muslim friends provide answers that don’t suit Rachel because she is Jewish, the rabbi explains that “his energy will live on with your ancestors in the World to Come.” Her zayde, too, helps her understand that there can be peace and completeness in death. Sinykin hits just the right balance of communication and reassurance with her storytelling, as does Swarner with her endearing and soothing illustrations. Children will relate to Rachel’s concerns and appreciate the comforting and positive messages relayed in a story that takes on a difficult and important subject. Ages 6–10. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/15/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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