Monday, January 30, 2012
The Scar, by Charlotte Moundlic. Illustrated by Olivier Tallec.
This is a picture book about a young child whose mother has recently gotten sick and died. The boy is terrified that he will forget his mother's smell, or even that he will forget her, entirely.
The adults in the story want to support him, but must also cope with their own sadness and devastation.
It's a comforting story that acknowledges the child's pain, and also offers the hope of being able to go on--but without sugar-coating anyone's grief.
The red and sometimes gray charcoal and watercolor illustrations work with the text in prioritizing the child and his feelings; the adults in the story are present but mostly out of sight, except for the immensely satisfying central double-page spread, in which the grandmother reassures her grandson, with her hand on his heart, that his mother (her daughter) is "in your heart, and she's not going anywhere."
I recommend The Scar as a deep and beautiful book for preschoolers who may need it.