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Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved

The 2017 Mildred L. Batchelder Award winner Cry, Heart, But Never Break, is a wonderful story that can help your child understand what death is and why, and why it happens in a creative but wise way. 

Four children know their grandmother is dying. One evening during her illness, Death comes for a visit. He is personified by a lean, pale figure with a dark, hooded cloak. The children, who understand why he is there, try to negotiate with Death, pleading that their grandmother needs to stay. Unable to fulfill their request, Death uses a story to express to the children his natural purpose in everyone's lives. Much like the feelings of grief and joy, or sorrow and delight, life and death cannot exist without the other. 

Danish author Glenn Ringtved's sorrowful words are illustrated by artist Charlotte Pardi. Death appears as a grandfatherly figure and is said to have "a heart as red as the most beautiful sunset and beats with a great love of life." Death is compassionate for all life, especially when it comes to children and the subject of loss. Cry, Heart, But Never Break is not only a recommended read for children, but for all ages. Anyone who has struggled with the death of a loved one will appreciate the compassion Glenn Ringtved puts into his story.

Parents: If you're looking for more titles involving the subject of death and the explanation of it to children, check out this booklist.