The Forever Kid by Elizabeth Mary Cummings reviewed by Georgie Donaghey
There's no doubt, The Forever Kid tugs at the heartstrings and it tugs hard.
I was moved by Elizabeth Mary Cummings' latest picture book, The Forever Kid published by Big Sky Publishing.
'Johnny is not in that photo, but we know he is with us. Johnny is our Forever Kid.'
This line just melts your heart. To lose a child is a parent's worst nightmare.
Every year Mum, Dad, Johnny's brother, his sisters Pat, Miley and the family dog, Barker, all come together to celebrate Johnny's birthday. They share stories and remember the things that made Johnny so special.
We are not formally introduced to Johnny's younger brother, the narrator of this story but you do feel his pain.
Pat finds comfort in wearing Johnny's old shirt. Miley and Dad laugh at her dimples, something that Johnny also had. His brother remembers their time on the computer and Barker munches on cheesy-puffs just as Johnny had taught him. But all agree that telling cloud stories is their favourite Johnny memory.
Cheri Hughes's moving illustrations by using soft colours to complement the seriousness of the subject matter is a winner.
The Forever Kid tackles the complex subject of grief from a child's perspective. Although this is a confronting story, it is handled with sensitivity and celebration.
Congratulations, Elizabeth and Cheri.