Elba has a sad face and a black block that she drags around with her. Norris is always in a good mood and surrounded by butterflies. When they meet in the park, Norris invites Elba to go on a picnic. She declines and says that she just wants to sit with her block. Norris doesn't give up and over time he and Elba talk about the sadness that Norris senses in the block. She tells him that she will always have her block, but Norris says, "But I will help you carry it sometimes."
The illustrations capture the personalities of the characters perfectly. Elba always has her umbrella, just in case. Norris always has his picnic basket and is ready to share a picnic with someone. The big black block pops out in contrast to all the bright flowers, butterflies, and beautiful ocean waves. The change in its size from the beginning of the story to the final scene clearly shows that Elba's sadness had lifted a bit even though it is not gone.
This is the perfect book to share with a child who is feeling sorrow over losing a loved one. It gently shows that over time and with the help of others, the load of sorrow can become a little lighter. It may always be there, but it will not always be the weight holding back the enjoyment of everything else in life.
I read a review copy provided by the publisher. Release date is March 26, 2019.
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