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Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review: Where Do We Go?

I recently had the opportunity to read and review the book "Where Do We Go" by James F. Weinsier.

Where Do We Go
Written by James F. Weinsier
Illustrated by Cliff Beaman
Publisher: Wondrous Publications L.L.C.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Price: $12.95 U.S. Softbound
ISBN: 978-0-61523-805-0
Pub Date: 2008

My review follows below.

From the publisher:
The death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult to understand and cope with; imagine how much more difficult it is for a child! Where Do We Go? delicately explores the theme of death in a child-friendly fashion with reassuring, thought-provoking text and cheerful illustrations. With compassion and sensitivity, James F. Weinsier addresses the age-old,

complex question: Where do we go when we die?

In the words of Laura Duksta, author of the New York Times bestseller I Love You More, "Where Do We Go? Brings joy, play and ease to what is often an awkward conversation. Its message is a precious tool that will open the hearts and imagination of its readers to a greater awareness of love, life and beyond!"

Where Do We Go? is as helpful to children as it is to the adults challenged with the bewildering task of discussing death with them.

James F. Weinsier's child-friendly, non-secular exploration of death compatibly blends with any religious, spiritual or nondenominational framework, opening a pathway for parents, caregivers and other adults to approach the subject of death within any given belief system, while giving children the comfort they desperately need. Where Do We Go? helps them find the answers to the mystery of death within their own hearts.

To be honest, I wasn't sure I'd like a non-secular explanation of death. That doesn't sound like the family values we promote in our home. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. "Where Do We Go" is a great opener and broaches the topic of death in a way that matches a child's natural curiosity.

While there is nothing that promotes any religion, I was able to read the book to my kids and explore the topic of death using our religious framework as a backdrop to the discussion. Since my kids are currently 12, 8 and 3.5, we have a wide range of ages and levels of discussion. The 12 year old agrees the book was 'a little young' for him, but he could participate in our talk and speak to his younger siblings in a way that matched the story of the book and matched their level of understanding. The 8 and 3 year olds loved the book. The pictures are totally engaging, the point of the story meanders the same way their minds do. James Weinsier wanders through t
he seasons and asks if that's what it is like when we die, he addresses the idea of 'how old are we in death?' and even mentions pets and if they will be with us, too.

I cry at the ending of the book where it says that no matter where we go, you will live forever in the hearts of those who love you. I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5. The subject of death is explored in a creative way that is respectful, yet involves words and pictures that captivate and engage young people.

For more information or to order this book, click the amazon link to the left.

Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. A copy of the book was provided by Wondrous Publications L.L.C. for this review. Providing me a copy of the book does not influence my review and all thoughts are my own.

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