book reviews: Divorce is the Worst and Picture of Grace

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Divorce is the Worst By Anastasia Higginbotham.
Feminist Press| April 14, 2015|64 pages |$16.95| ISBN: 978-1-55861-880-0

Rating: *****/5*

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Feminist Press.

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Picture of Grace By Josh Armstrong.
256 pages |$18.99| ISBN: 978-0-9862370-0-3

Rating: ****/5*

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from the author.

While I choose not to parent, I was a child once and I understand both divorce and grief. If you want books to help guide a child through these difficult and often traumatic situations, these are two wonderful options. These children’s books should help ease some broken hearts and answer questions in an effective, fun manner. Both books are told from the child’s viewpoint.

Author and artist Anastasia Higginbotham empowers children to understand that divorce is never their fault in Divorce is the Worst. She utilizes collage pictures, humor—“You’re getting a horse? Um, no. A divorce.”—and empathy. This book is the first in Higginbotham’s feminist children’s book series Ordinary Terrible Things. The book effectively moves through a child’s feelings- confusion, betrayal, guilt, sadness– when the parents decide to divorce. She notes: “Other divorce books try to make kids feel better about the divorce. Mine supports kids to find out how they feel about it all. The truth of their experience is the only thing that matters.”

In Pictures of Grace, author Josh Armstrong writes about a girl losing her painter grandfather. He’s a famous landscape artist who spends quality time with his granddaughter. When he dies suddenly, Grace decides to finish his current painting adding her own style and flourishes. It stresses remembering happy times and a person’s life when they die. The illustrations by Taylor Bills remind me a bit of a Disney film but prove effective.

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