The Funeral

The Funeral


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Norma and her parents are going to her great-uncle Frank’s funeral, and Norma is more excited than sad. She is looking forward to playing with her favorite cousin, Ray, but when she arrives at the church, she is confronted with rituals and ideas that have never occurred to her before. While not all questions can be answered, when the day is over Norma is certain of one thing — Uncle Frank would have enjoyed his funeral.

This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554989089
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication date: 04/03/2018
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 749,512
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 4 - 7 Years

About the Author

Matt James is a painter, author/illustrator and musician whose many highly acclaimed children’s books include Yellow Moon, Apple Moon by Pamela Porter (New Mexico Book Award); I Know Here by Laurel Croza (Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award) and its companion volume, From There to Here; and The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson. Matt’s illustrations for Northwest Passage, a stunning tribute to the iconic Stan Rogers’ song, won the Governor General’s Literary Award. The Funeral is the first picture book he has written and illustrated. Matt lives in Toronto.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The Funeral written and illustrated Matt James:

A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Book

New York Public Library Best Books for Kids

"Enveloping and original, James' authorial debut offers an honest exploration of a difficult and delicate subject. Exceptional."Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

"James uniquely and playfully captures that particularities of a child's perspective."Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"Witnessing the acceptance of varied reactions to death and the elements of memorial will help children prepare for or reflect upon their first funeral. A notable portrayal." —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

"In his first outing as author, Canadian artist James examines the way the funeral of a distant relative feels to a child. . . . [the story]traces with a big heart the way she makes sense of this puzzling event."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

"[An] oddly exhilarating story . . . James ("When the Moon Comes") has an ear at child level and beautifully and convincingly shows us children . . . . who are full of life. " — New York Times

"Matt James offers a lighthearted — yet not irreverent — look at the rituals of death, through the eyes of a child. . . . Sweetly, gently funny and poignant at the same time, “The Funeral” is perfectly pitched to a child’s understanding. This uncomplicated story will also charm adults who recognize that being remembered is a gift." — The Washington Post

"Matt James's (I Know Here) quiet, child's-eye view of a funeral, with all its mysterious rituals and traditions, is a pitch-perfect introduction to a sometimes-difficult theme. . . . [A] graceful, beautifully illustrated picture book about death, customs and emotions." — Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW

"This captivating take on a child's experience of a distant relative's funeral glows with feeling and joy." — BayViews

Praise for From There to Here by Laurel Croza, illustrated by Matt James:
“[A] low-key, emotionally true approach to a common and usually upsetting childhood experience.” Kirkus, starred review
“James’s naive style has an infectious, unfettered energy. Croza’s spare text captures the narrator’s feelings of displacement with poetic immediacy.” Quill & Quire, starred review

Praise for Northwest Passage as seen by Matt James:
“This stunning portrayal of early efforts to explore Canada’s Northwest Passage presents Rogers’ 1981 song in combination with glorious illustrations … Both realistic and allusive, these images are as haunting as the song. For U.S. readers, an illumination of a little-known history; for all Americans, a treasure.” Kirkus, starred review

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