Book review summary: A wonderful wordless story for even very young children. A powerful and comforting book for children who are dealing with loss through death of a beloved family member, friend, or pet.
Book Title: “A Stone for Sascha”
Author & Illustrator: Aaron Becker
Themes: Grief and tribute to a child’s pet, history, journey.
Format: A wordless epic story told through powerful beautiful images taken through time to become a fitting, moving tribute to mark the passing of a girl’s beloved pet dog.
Review of new children’s books for 2018: A Stone for Sascha
If you are looking for new books for your child and wondering what books have hit this year, well, I was wondering that too and so – starting with this first post – have begun a series of book reviews to cover all new books for young children (0-5+ years). In this post, we are looking at the first book in the series, A Stone for Sascha, which bodes very well for 2018 to be a promising year for children’s books.
A Stone for Sascha
It’s hard to know where to start when describing this book. It has just so many themes to it. It leaves the reader with a profound feeling of having taken an epic journey. And yet, the book is wordless, so it is accessible to children of all ages. And though its central theme is a girl’s sadness about her beloved pet dog dying, the author sensitively creates an homage to the memory of the pet so powerful, that it leaves the reader feeling remarkably moved and yet uplifted. For this reason, despite the heavy theme, this book could be appropriate for even a very young child, and even more so if the child is dealing with loss of some sort themselves. This book could very well could comfort a child who is grieving.
A Stone for Sascha – Story
The book opens with a hint of an epic adventure to come. The inside cover has a sepia map with a long dotted trail through many exotic lands.
The story begins with a girl placing a handful of flowers on her pet’s final resting spot
The story takes us with the girl and her family to the Pacific Northwest coast, where the girl is missing her dog, but soon finds a powerful, fitting homage to the memory of her pet.
But before we learn what the girl finds, we are taken on a journey beginning millions of years ago, when a meteor strikes the earth.
The meteorite makes a long journey through many lands and is recognized as a very special stone.
And the stone’s journey continues through the centuries until it is discovered by the grieving girl. The girl offers the stone to her pet’s memory at the dog’s grave site.
A Stone for Sascha gets props for so many reasons, but aside from being a powerful, compassionate story about dealing with loss, the book also deserves praise for opting for cultural diversity by portraying the family as African Americans. Cultural diversity is still only found in 1 in 10 books, according to the non-profit group, The Children’s Book Bank.
A great book! I highly recommend it!
I just simply loved this book and I think you will too. It works on so many levels, but most importantly it has important lessons about how to help children deal with loss.
The “Making of” video of A Stone for Sascha
A great introduction of the author, Aaron Becker, along with his story for finding his inspiration behind the book is in this beautiful video. Check it out!
Have you read this book yet? Did you find this review helpful? Share your comments below.
Information for how to help a child deal with grief
For more information on helping a child deal with the death of a loved one or other types of grief, this article from Parents magazine has many useful suggestions.