Book Review, Picture Books

Who Will Love Me When You’re Gone? by Anna Friend & Jake Biggin

Who Will Love Me When You’re Gone is a beautiful picture book published in conjunction with Grief Awareness Week 2021.

***

“My love for you can never leave,

It’s like the sun, the air you breathe…”

Jack’s mum is very poorly, and he’s worried about what will happen when she’s gone…

Will Mummy take her love as well?

***

This is the story of a situation we pray children never have to face – the death of a parent. The heart-breaking text is honest and simple, written so even the youngest child can understand that Mummy’s love never goes away. It only grows and is always, always there.

This is a completely unique book. Suitable from EYFS all the way up to Year 6, it expresses emotions and questions that children often have difficulty putting into words. Mum is brave, comforting and able to very clearly explain all the ways Jack will know her love is right there with him.

The black and white illustrations fit perfectly with innocent feelings of the text – a little boy, alone with his cat. Even though Mummy is still there, she is never shown – foreshadowing the loss Jack is about to experience. The cat is wonderful, sitting nearby, watching over Jack, ready to provide comfort.

Who Will Love Me When You’re Gone is the book every teacher needs. It should be shared with the whole class to develop empathy and help children explore the emotions this situation brings. It should also be on-hand to share with children who are going through the loss of a parent and need to hear the messages inside.

The back of the book contains further resources for dealing with grief: mindfulness exercises, where to find help and pages for children to records their own thoughts.

A little warning – this book may bring up a lot of emotions for adults and children. Adults will need to read the book ahead of time and think through their own response to the text before sharing it.

Thank you to Scholastic & Harriet Dunlea for this powerful book!

Click on the book covers below to find out more or to purchase from bookshop.org or Amazon.

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