cover image Finn’s Feather

Finn’s Feather

Rachel Noble, illus. by Zoey Abbott. Enchanted Lion, $17.95 (50p) ISBN 978-1-59270-239-8

Children grieve differently from adults, and that’s okay, suggests this warmhearted story from Australian writer Noble, herself a mother who’s lost a child. One morning, Finn finds a feather on his doorstep—“It was white, it was amazing, it was perfect”—and tells his mother that it’s from his dead brother, Hamish. “Mom took a deep breath and gave him a great, big hug.” When he shows the feather to his teacher, she sighs, too. “Why was he the only one excited about his feather?” Fortunately, Finn’s friend Lucas is happy to play with Finn’s discovery. They top a castle with the feather, and when it blows away, their classmates help to rescue it. Soft, brightly colored spreads by Abbott (Twindergarten) make Finn’s energy and resilience clear and use unusual perspectives to amplify the emotion in the words. The moment when Finn discovers the feather is presented as an aerial shot, seen from the place where, perhaps, he feels Hamish may be. Some children, Noble observes, experience loss as a complex set of feelings that involves excitement, sadness, pleasure, and regret all muddled up together. Combined, the art and story create a useful, moving resource for bereaved children and their families. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]