Volume Fourteen in the Books That Matter Series
Up until now, I have focused on middle grade and young adult novels for my books that matter series. Picture books, however, can be, and perhaps are, the most likely candidate for such an honor. If a picture book is good, it could shape a child's whole view on reading and help them become an adult who appreciates books. Picture books are simply books that matter. But the true treasure is to find a picture book that addresses a serious issue in an easy, light, and understandable way while still showing the depth and complexity of the issue. Always Remember by Cece Meng (illustrated by Jago) is just such a book.
Once again, this book found me at a time when I needed it. I didn't even know it was out there. I was browsing for some books and there it was: the only copy on the table. The illustration of the turtle on the front drew me in. I flipped to the book's description and didn't even finish reading it before I was at the register buying the book. The topic of this book was one that is hard for most people: grieving. When someone close passes away, it is a difficult thing to deal with. Everyone's grieving process is unique even if psychology tells us there is a pattern to it. And yet, worse than our own grief is how to explain loss to children. This book takes elegant ocean illustrations and simple, straight-forward, and beautiful words to tell the story of how the sea animals remember Old Turtle after his passing. It is a must have for parents, educators, writers, and illustrators. It masterfully shows children how to recall the times they have shared with someone while also showing them what kind of acts will be remembered.
At a time, when I needed it most, this book found me. Always Remember is a book that matters.