About the BookTitle: GG and Mamela | Author: Belinda Brock | Illustrator: Avi Katz | Publication Date: April 15, 2014 | Publisher: Lamb Press | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 10 Summary: This picture book celebrates the loving relationship between Lily and her great-grandmother (GG) as her life starts to slow and wind down in hospice. GG and Mamela illustrates how strength and comfort can be found through love, family and tradition. This book offers a gentle and open-ended way to start a conversation about death and dying, as well as introduce the concept of hospice care. The talented, award-winning artist, Avi Katz, provides beautifully-rendered illustrations that perfectly complement this heartwarming story. The book concludes with GG's recipe for chicken soup and an afterword by clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Brock.
Our ReviewGG and Mamela, is a thought provoking and truly beautiful story about a little girl called Lilly and her great grandmother, whom she affectionately calls GG. GG calls Lilly her Mamela and the two spend a lot of time together. They read stories and cook hearty chicken soup, and Lilly thinks that is how it will always be.
As the story unfolds, Lilly's parents begin to explain that GG is nearing the end of her life, and she needs to go to a new place to live called a Hospice. Lilly doesn't really understand, and she insists on visiting GG in the Hospice. GG grows tired with each new day, until one day Lilly's parent's tell her it is time to say goodbye to GG. The little girl kisses her GG goodbye and tells her she loves her with all her heart.
I can barely keep from sobbing as I write this review. This was such a moving story, done so sensitively and the illustrations bring to life GG and Mamela's special relationship. I really appreciated the way the author approached the topic of death and dying, and Lilly's reactions were so believable and real. At the conclusion of the story there is a delightful chicken soup recipe to engage the reader even further.
The foreword by Dr Laura Brock, gives the parent reader much to think about when approaching this topic with little ones. This book would make a wonderful addition to any home book shelf, as well as school classrooms to help young children learn the reality of the circle of life that will confront us all one day.
Note, I gained a copy of this book for a blog tour in exchange for an honest review.
The Early Buzz
"...simple but emotionally resonant illustrations...a nice, true-to-life touch...The book pairs an ethereal illustration with lyrical text, which truly captures the healing, transporting power of music in this setting. A welcome addition to children's literature about death and dying." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The author takes a difficult subject and weaves a story full of life lessons. The universal themes of life, death, family, loss,and chicken soup are shared through a child's eyes and remind us that even after one dies, love remains." ~ Jamie O'Malley, President and CEO, Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter
"GG and Mamela is a large helping of Chicken Soup for the heart and soul. It helps children cope with the death of a loved one in gentle and understanding terms. Belinda Brock has done a great service for children and parents alike." ~ Rabbi Evan Moffic, Spiritual Leader of Congregation Solel and Author
"This is a WONDERFUL story for families who are grappling with loss, death and dying. This is a wonderful story about a special relationship between a girl and her great grandmother at the end of her beautiful life. Very moving story, perfect for children!!" ~ 5 Star Review, Laura, Goodreads