The Remembering Stone

Groundwood. Mar. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781773065892.
PreS-Gr 3–A recounting of the bereavement of a young child who has recently lost her grandpa. When Alice brings a small round stone to show-and-tell at school, the little rock isn’t much to look at. Her classmates are not impressed until she shares that it is a special memento from time spent skipping stones with her grandpa, who has died. Alice has happy memories of spending time with him at the lake, although her grandpa skipped stones with great skill and she never quite got the hang of it. At recess, Alice realizes that she has misplaced the treasured stone. Understanding its significance, Alice’s classmates assist her in retracing her steps, finding many “wrong” stones along the way. When she leaves school with her pockets full of new pebbles, Alice is secure in the knowledge that each one represents a friend who tried to help her, and this warms her heart with new memories and fills her with a sense of being heard, seen, and loved. Alice returns to the water’s edge, and practices skipping all of her new stones. Even though they sink to the bottom of the lake like before, she has found peace in the practice of skipping them in her grandpa’s memory. Scenes of Alice at school and beside the lake are illustrated in calm and soothing muted browns and blues.
VERDICT Readers will find the topic of childhood grief is handled gently here and human connections are celebrated. Recommended for fiction collections.

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