And Peter Said Goodbye

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Intended as bibliotherapy to help children deal with death, this fulsome picture book is more likely to elicit guffaws than to promote healing. Angry that he's not allowed to attend his grandfather's funeral, Peter seeks refuge at their favorite fishing spot. There he encounters Mrs. Murgatroyd, a sort of New Age granny / goddess figure who lives in a tree and dispenses rainbows and wisdom. With her help, Peter paints a 10-story-high green robot that comes to life and whisks him across the country to California (where else?), where he witnesses his grandfather's death in a vision (a dubious remedy for mourning if ever there was one), attends the funeral and finds the closure he needs. Scardova's dewy, butterfly-strewn artwork is all hearts and flowers, and the liberal sprinkling of fairy dust (used to denote the story's dream portions) only adds insult to injury. Grief is tough enough for children to negotiate without having to wade through such muck as this. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A fantasy designed to help children work through their feelings about death. Peter is left in a neighbor's care while his parents attend the funeral of his beloved grandfather, who has been run over by a speeding car. Disconsolate, the boy flees to the woods and meets an elderly woman who uses the colors of the rainbow for her paint pots. She invites him to make a picture of his own, so Peter draws a huge green robot with comfortable, boy-sized, interior compartments. The robot comes alive and carries Peter across the country to California. There he witnesses the accident, vents his rage and sorrow, joins in the funeral service, and turns it into a joyful celebration of Grandpa's life. He wakes in the woods once again, feeling much more at peace, and hurries home to greet his returning parents. The writing is capable and pictorial, but as often happens with well-meaning stories created for didactic purposes, literary style and plot cohesiveness lose out to the message. The elaborate, sentimental watercolor illustrations are crammed with flowers, birds, blooming trees, sweet animals, stars, and butterflies, in contrast to the realistic, individualized figures of the main characters. The effect is overblown and lessens the impact of the story.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568441009
  • Publisher: Enchante Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/1/1996
  • Series: Emotional Literacy Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years

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