Hello, friends! Our book today is Still Mine, written by Jayne Pillemer and illustrated by Sheryl Murray, a bittersweet look at love, loss, and remembrance.
The people we love occupy such special places in our lives, especially in the things we do together. Those moments of splashing in rain puddles, playing at the playground, dancing on the bed, or sipping hot cocoa under the stars create memories and bonds that last forever. So what happens to those special moments if the person we love is lost to us? Can we still enjoy them without the one who made them special? Perhaps we can, with the belief and understanding that carrying on traditions and forming new relationships can be a way to keep the ones we’ve lost by our side; they may no longer be present, but they are still ours, alive in our hearts.
Honest and moving. Pillemer’s gentle text and Murray’s soft and evocative illustrations take the always-difficult subject of death and focus on one way in which we can begin to process grief. It’s subtle, but it’s an important message, as those who are grieving so often give up beloved activities that they once shared with those that they’ve lost; this story lets them know that there is nothing wrong with going on to enjoy those activities again, and it can in fact keep those we have lost with us in memory. Perhaps most striking, and appreciated, is that while many picture books about death focus on a pet, older caretaker, or parent, this one actually includes the death of a child playmate, something very unique to the genre yet no less devastating to a child experiencing it. The length is fine for a storytime, and while the story is very sad, it is uplifting, and JJ and I enjoyed it. Overall, a wonderful book to help with the process of loss and grieving, and we wholeheartedly recommend it – Baby Bookworm approved.
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to the Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)