Just What to Do

Dial. Jul. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593462942.
PreS-Gr 3–Handling death and grief in a gentle and tender manner, Lukoff’s newest picture book explores the innate need many of us have to fix the problems of the ones we love the most. The protagonist, a young child, tries many different things to cheer up those closest to them when they lose their beloved plant or pet. Over time they discover that grief isn’t one-size-fits-all, and the thing that cheers up one loved one may not help another. When the protagonist’s friend loses their grandma, they realize that simply being present and asking how they can be most helpful is the best they can do for a loved one experiencing grief. Combined with Tahboub’s adorable and expressive illustrations, children will be newly tuned in to the many complexities of grief. Adults will also be charmed by this.
VERDICT A beautiful story that should be sitting on the shelves of school counselors and child therapists everywhere.

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