Monday, March 17, 2008

And What Comes After A Thousand by Anette Bley

Otto and Lisa are special friends. Otto may be old, but he can still spit cherry pits, make slingshots and grow delicious raspberries. He and Lisa share a fascination with numbers, tell stories of brave Native Americans, and gaze at the stars.
But when Otto becomes ill and then dies, Lisa struggles to understand. Her rage, confusion and mourning are reflected in the illustrations as she slowly comes to know that, while people die, memories last forever.
This picture book, translated from the original German, is a gift to any young child and caring adult struggling to make sense of loss, particularly the loss of a loved and aging parent, grandparent or other special person. The illustrations, by the author, are especially skillful in their depiction of Lisa keeping company with Otto as his life ebbs away.

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