Wed 10 Oct 2012
If that’s true, you should definitely check out Zayde Comes to Live, written by Sheri Sinykin and illustrated by Kristina Swarner (Peachtree, 2012).
This lovely and loving picture book tells the story of a girl named Rachel coming to terms with her grandfather’s upcoming death. Rachel adores her grandfather, or zayde, and wishes he could stay. But she can see him getting more tired and weak every day.
Rachel asks her friends what they think will happen after Zayde dies, and she hears about heaven from a Christian friend and about paradise from a Muslim friend.
But Rachel knows her family is Jewish, so she asks her rabbi, “Is Zayde dying?” His answer is one of the loveliest lines in the book:
“He is living, Rachel, until the moment he dies.”
Rachel finally asks Zayde where he will go after he dies. And he gives a simple, yet thorough answer that helps her understand.
I’m a huge picture book fan in general, but trust me, this book is a gift. It’s lyrical and moving and profound, yet very clear and simple. It celebrates life, love, family and faith without being the slightest bit preachy or judgemental. And the artwork is simply divine.
Now, it’s time to meet today’s reviewer, Ellie and hear what she has to say.
Today’s reviewer: Ellie
I like: To play basketball. I also love red pandas, and my favorite food is meatloaf.
This book was about: A man named Zayde comes and lives with his family because he is about to die, and a little girl in the family is afraid to see what happens after he dies.
The best part was when: The girl’s friends described where Zayde would go after he dies.
I laughed when: I didn’t laugh in this book even though it was very good.
I was worried when: It was possible that Zayde could have died when he fell asleep, and the girl had to wake him up to make sure he didn’t die.
I was surprised at: What the girls’ friends said when they were describing what would happen to Zayde after he dies.
The book taught me: Not to say good-bye to someone after they die, because they will always be in your heart.
Other kids reading this book should watch for: How much everyone cares for each other.
Three words that best describe this book are: “Caring.” “Loving.” “Happiness.”
My favorite line or phrase in the book is: “I see a zooming, happy Zayde with his mama and daddy, his bubbe and his own Zayde.”
You should read this book because: It helps you learn about different things, and that you should always care for each other.
Thank you, Ellie!
If you’d like to learn more about author Sheri Sinykin, you can:
Visit her website.
Read this article about her writing career.
Read this article about her presentation: “Good Grief: How to Talk to your Child about Death.”
If you’d like to learn more about illustrator Kristina Swarner, you can:
- See more of her beautiful artwork at this website.
- See the workplace where she creates her wonderful art.
- Read this interview with her.