Title: Wishes For One More Day
Author: Melanie Joy Pastor
Publisher: Flashlight Press
Wishes For one More Day is about the wish of two young grandchildren to spend one more day with a beloved grandparent who has passed away in order to say a proper goodbye. What Anna and Joey do after they learn that their beloved grandfather has unexpectedly passed away will show readers of all ages a meaningful way to memorialize a loved one.
Melanie Joy Pastor’s story is told in simple and realistic detail. Jacqui Grantford’s lap-sized illustrations are colorful, compelling and filled with subtle detail. Body language and facial expressions are clearly evident and they help to tell the story. The children’s mother teaches them to focus on happy recollections with the deceased grandfather and to write them down. The older child writes the words and her younger brother draws the pictures of happy times they’ve shared with “Poppy.” Both siblings believe that they’ve completed their task after some earnest effort. But mother teaches them that they’ve created more than that: it is a book of fond memories that “Poppy” also recalled before he died. The goodbyes have been said, and the children learn to cope with their loss.
This colorful hardcover book is a treat for the heart and soul, let alone the eyes. Nominally Jewish in its context, it indicates lighthearted hints about some Jewish mourning practices. It can make a helpful addition to family bookshelves no matter the level of Jewish observance is present at home. Libraries, camps, community centers and wherever else children gather would be wise to include it in their book collections. This is a wonderful outlet for young hearts to learn to express their grief in a safe and productive way.