If You Miss Me

Orchard Books. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338680690.
PreS-Gr 1–Charlie dances through life, and her adoring grandmother loves to watch her. While they cannot be together, Grandmother tells Charlie to look at the moon if she misses her, and she will do the same. The time soon comes when grandmother cannot travel, and then she passes away; Charlie is lost, unable to dance as she did before. It is the moon, and her memory of Grandmother, that helps her dance again and recover from her grief and loneliness. Langrand’s delightful digital images sometimes spread over full pages; other times they are vignettes, two to a page. Though simple, the illustrations amplify the joy of dancing on stage and all over town, the sadness of saying goodbye when Charlie has to go home to the city, and the cold desolation of winter without Grandmother. Although not specifically described, the family appears to be Asian in an area of Eastern houses and scenery, but there are characters of other races in Charlie’s class, at her dance recitals, and on the streets.
VERDICT This sweet, universal tale of family and loss will help young children understand the concepts of death and grief in a comforting and loving way.

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