Children’s Grief Awareness Month

When sitting down to write about this very important topic, I hesitated. Where do I start? What should I focus on? There’s so many feelings that come with grief. And that’s when I knew, it’s important to acknowledge them all….starting with our own emotions and reactions.

To help children, we must first be honest with ourselves and how we feel. Without first exploring this, we can’t truly see any walls we may put up when it comes to helping children. We need to be honest with ourselves and take a look at the wave of emotions, thoughts, and realizations that we go through when someone we know dies. Seeing ourselves more clearly will allow us to enter into conversations with children who do not possess the coping mechanisms or ability to decipher their emotions.

Because when children lose someone they love, they need our support, our love, and our help. They need us to be honest with our word choices about death, but compassionate and gentle with our approach. No adult wants to have children experience grief, but it happens. Their tears and heart ache will trade places with anger, fear, loneliness, and perhaps even self blame at any moment.

It’s important to note that even though they are stages to grief, they do not go in any specific order. Once again, grief has no order. Grief hits unexpectedly, and the “stages” come and go, interchange, and jumble with however someone is feeling at that moment.

Every child is different with how they experience grief. The best thing we can do is to be present, support them, and love them.

Book Review: Gorillas In Our Midst by Richard Fairgray illustrated by Terry Jones

I love this book! The title automatically makes me think of Jane Goodall. This book is a fun read that children will sure enjoy! It centers around the idea that gorillas have been living in our midst for a long time, naming Aperaham Lincoln and Gorilliam Shakespeare as examples. They live in society and have gotten pretty good at hiding, taking jobs where they can wear masks like surgeon, astronaut ect. There are delightful examples and humorous illustrations that accompany the story, which my kids found pretty hilarious! The end has a twist that even left me surprised! It’s a great book, meant for pure enjoyment, and I hope you find the time to read it!

Happy reading!

Friday Faves: Fairy Science by Ashley Spires

Hello everyone! I’m excited today to bring you a new book by Ashley Spires, author of the Most Magnificent Thing. We love her previous book for its girl power, ingenuity and STEM, and this book keeps that theme alive but with a twist.

In Fairy Science, Esther is a fairy that does not believe in magic, ironic because magic is what fairies are all about. Instead, she believes in science and prefers facts and evidence over wishing on stars and casting spells with magic wands. She gets to use her knowledge of science when the fairies notice a tree is dying and they need to get to the root of the problem.

This book is wonderful for many reasons. The main character is a girl, going against the social norm, who loves science! A fairy after my own heart….I am a nurse by trade after all, and I love sparkles 🙂 There’s glitter and science sprinkled throughout the book with a dash of humor to bring it all together. I love Ashley Spires’ books and this one is my new favorite. It’s a delightful read with a great message of being yourself.

I do hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Happy reading!

Friday Faves: Milton & Odie and the Bigger-than-Bigmouth Bass by Mary Ann Fraser

Fishing and friendship

Oh my goodness….this is a WINNER! This book came out in 2019 and is so delightful. I just picked it up from the library and couldn’t be more pleased with the theme, illustrations, and story line.

To start with, Mary Ann Fraser wrote and illustrated this book. The pictures are lively, bright, and so cute that kids will love the characters. As for the story, it’s a great way to teach children about looking at life’s glass like it’s half full instead of half empty.

Mitlon and Odie are two otters with very different perspectives on life. The each separately go ice fishing one sunny morning. Through a funny chance meeting, they decide to fish together and catch the bigger-than-bigmouth bass! In their teaming up, Milton, the usually “lake half empty” otter, starts to see life’s possibilities instead of its short comings.

I urge you to buy or borrow this book! It quickly became one of my new favorites this year.

Happy reading!

A soldier, a hero, my Grandpa

On this Veterans’ Day, I feel so thankful to everyone who has served and is serving our country. I cannot even fathom the sacrifice, or the loss of time with family and friends. It’s such a SELFLESS act, to protect one’s country and to give up as much as they do.

My Grandpa served in the Army and was in the second fleet that stormed Normandy. He was 21 years old. I can’t imagine what that would have been like. To have been young, scared, not knowing if you would live, and then see Normandy and its horrific scene.

As a child, I didn’t know what his sacrifice meant. He never talked about his time in the Army. Instead, he worked at GM on their line and never complained. He was a hard worker, a provider, and so so funny. He was the best joke teller ever, with a wit and humor that was unmatched.

In addition to his humor, he was charming and a good dancer. He always had a kind word or nice thing to say to the person he was talking with. At family weddings, or whenever the mood struck him, he’d break out his signature dance move that can only be described as a little bit Grandpa Ray and a little bit Elvis.

When we’d go to visit my grandparents, his face would light up and he’d say “Hi ya sweetheart!” His was forever my cheerleader and supporter. As I got older and went to college, the visits became less frequent. Then one day, I met the man I was going to marry. I introduced my now husband to my Grandpa. I’m so thankful that my husband got to know my Grandpa. We got engaged and told our family…it was around Thanksgiving. A month later, my Grandpa was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was given 3 months. By February, he was gone. I never got to dance with him at my wedding, and my children never got to meet this man, who was larger than life. I still can’t believe how quickly he was taken from me.

So on this Veterans’ Day, my heart aches for my Grandpa….a soldier, a husband, a father, a Grandpa, and my hero.

Friday Faves: The Mouse and the Moon by Gabriel Alborozo

Hi and happy Friday! Anyone else feel they’re in a whirlwind these past two weeks?! I haven’t posted much lately, but I did want to share this cute gentle story today. The Mouse and the Moon is a story about, you guessed it, a mouse and the moon. Mouse lives by himself, and his only friend is the moon. He wishes he could be close to the moon; one night, he sets off through the woods trying to get closer to moon. His journey takes him to a pond where moon is shimmering in the water. A small voice comes out into the darkness and Mouse thinks it’s moon! He begins to have a conversation with “moon” that last til morning. It is then, when the light shines bright, that he discovers the voice belonged to a small fish in the pond. I just loved this sweet story!

Themes: friendship, finding your voice, having courage, and stepping out of your comfort zone

Happy reading!

Friday Faves: Monty’s Magnificent Mane by Gemma O’Neill

Friday! It’s been such a great week of celebrating Halloween with my lil ones. I don’t know about you, but I’m done having candy around the house! I can only resist the treats for so long! Speaking of treats…..I have a treat for you today. (See what I did there!)

Monty’s Magnificent Mane is both written and beautifully illustrated by Gemma O’Neil. Monty is a lion with a stunning mane, and he isn’t shy about how he feels about it. The meerkats like to play in Monty’s mane; but one day, their playing knocks Monty off balance and he falls into the mud. Needing to get clean, he heads to the water against the warning of his meerkat friends. He meets someone new at the water and finds himself in danger of being eaten; worse yet, his meerkat friends are now in danger. Can Monty save his friends?

Theme: In this story, Monty is a proud lion, but soon discovers that friendship is the most important thing of all.

Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

Friday Faves: Dandy by Ame Dyckman illustrated by Charles Santoso

Hi everyone! This week’s pick is Dandy by Ame Dyckman illustrated by Charles Santoso. It’s a cute story of a father and daughter lion who find a weed in their manicured lawn. The daughter sees it as beautiful, but the Dad lion and the other Dad neighbors want it gone! Everytime the Dad lion tries to get rid of the weed, the daughter’s there…except for one day where an opportunity arises. This book is about the special relationship between father and child and is filled with hilarious illustrations of the Dad lion’s attempts to get rid of the weed. It includes a surprise twist at the end where everyone wins. I highly recommend this cute book. Happy reading!