Review: The Forever Kid by Elizabeth Mary Cummings and Cheri Hughes

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The Forever Kid, Elizabeth Mary Cummings (author), Cheri Hughes (illus.), Big Sky Publishing, October 2018.

 Blurb:

A moving story about the strength of family love.

It’s Johnny’s birthday but he is no longer here. His family still gathers and lovingly celebrate.

By continuing Johnny’s favourite party traditions and sharing special memories, the family feel a sense of closeness and comfort on this day of remembrance; Johnny, their Forever-Kid’s birthday.

 Review:

A stunning balance of heartfelt evocation and a gentle message of healing that transcends in a beautifully dreamy sense of spirit and strength.

Elizabeth Mary Cummings delivers a tenderly nostalgic story of remembrance that is celebrated in the most joyous way, sharing hope for those dealing with the difficult concept of loss and grief. The Forever Kid brilliantly brings forth empowerment to readers depicted through a calm portrayal of life for a family paying tribute to their late loved family member; brother and son, Johnny.

Cheri Hughes’ illustrations are a sublime example of care and thoughtfulness that exquisitely connect the text to the images of family unity, love and reminiscence. Her peaceful watercolour backgrounds beautifully combine with the vivacity of the characters to portray the strong memories of Johnny in amongst the angelic-qualities of ‘cloud stories’, and in essence, heaven.

Colour, texture and the child-like perspective of the narrative play essential roles in highlighting the emotion and tenderness of the story. There is a mixture of dual and varied colour tones appearing throughout moments of solitary reflection and lively family bonding. Johnny’s little brother, the narrator, lets us in on his feelings and on their family’s tradition to celebrate Johnny’s birthday. They re-imagine his favourite cloud stories, reflect on the past and present through photos, hold onto precious items of clothing and eat his favourite food. All these little things carry so much sentimentality and each item has a precious memory attached to it that the family members are able to move past the grief, even in sad moments, ultimately keeping pieces of Johnny in their hearts – forever.

The Forever Kid is a special story of everlasting love that encourages safe and open communication and a shining light that memory is a powerful tool for healing. A warm and comforting embrace for children from age four.

Review by Romi Sharp.

#loss #memory #love #family

Elizabeth Mary Cummings: website | facebook 

The Forever Kid: Big Sky Publishing

 

Head on over to Melissa Gijsbers’ blog, Missie Loves Books for her touching review of The Forever Kid.


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