Aware their grandmother is gravely ill, four siblings make a pact to keep death from taking her away. But Death does arrive all the same, as it must. He comes gently, naturally. And he comes with enough time to share a story with the children that helps them to realize the value of loss to life and the importance of being able to say goodbye.
`Cry, Heart, But Never Break` by Glenn Ringtved is truly a treasure to have.
Unfortunately, I wasn´t the one who purchased this book. I didn´t even know this book existed until my husband brought it home the other day.
The reason for that was: My husband´s work colleague´s brother in-law passed at a young age and he wanted to explain the meaning of death to his own children. To help them understand why their uncle wasn´t with them anymore, but help them understand in a child-like way.
My husband´s colleague googled for books and found this award-winning children´s book.
The only problem was: The book hasn´t been translated in german and his children don´t understand english, yet. He asked if I could translate this book for him so he could help his children understand what had happened.
I didn´t hesitate. Translating 32 pages is a piece of cake, especially when there´s only 2 sentences per page.
First off, I would like to say that this book is, indeed, perfect for children who are confronted with the loss of a beloved family member. I´d even go so far and say that adults should take a look inside this book, too.
The cover image and illustration art might not be overly inviting for children but it fits it´s purpose.
This isn´t a book about how to sugar coat death and make children believe in something we have no proof of knowing…
There is no mention of God or Heaven. No one sits on a cloud and looks down at the people still living. That option is left for a reader to include ( should they feel the need to add that kind of spirituality at the end of the story ).
This book get´s to the point with little words. It breaks your heart and gives you a sense of warmth in a time of sadness.
“What would life be worth if there were no death? Who would enjoy the sun if it never rained? Who would yearn for day if there were no night?” – Death
Sometimes adults fail to find the right words to help children understand. But there are books like this one that´ll help in the best way possible.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. For all ages. It´s important for children to deal with certain situations because there are things that can´t be prevented, such as death. I´m not one to shove the issue in a child´s face but when someone beloved passes then I´ll definitely reach out for this book and tackle the topic.
Would I re – read this book? Yes and no. Although beautiful, it still is sad.
The Cover – 3 stars ( I think the illustration is a tad gloomy but it fits the topic.)
The Story – 5 stars ( It helps small minds and makes larger minds sit back and think. A fantastic read. Perfect.)
The Characters – ( I don´t think it´s necessary to rate Death and the children who spent time with him. This is not something where character development plays a role.)
My emotional state after finishing this read – Teary. I had a hard time swallowing down the lump in my throat. But I also felt completely satisfied and less shattered than I thought I would be.