Friday, May 16, 2014

"GG and Mamela" by Belinda Brock

GG and Mamela
by Belinda Brock

GG and Mamela is a beautiful, heart-warming picture book recommended for children ages 4 to 10. It is a gentle introduction to hospice care. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center.
This book tour is brought to you by Mother Daughter Book Promotion Services. The tour stops here today for my review and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

This picture book celebrates the loving relationship between Lily and her great-grandmother (GG) as her life starts to slow and wind down in hospice. GG and Mamela illustrates how strength and comfort can be found through love, family and tradition. This book offers a gentle and open-ended way to start a conversation about death and dying, as well as introduce the concept of hospice care. The talented, award-winning artist, Avi Katz, provides beautifully-rendered illustrations that perfectly complement this heartwarming story. The book concludes with GG's recipe for chicken soup and an afterword by clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Brock.

"Do you know what I see, Mamela?"
Lily shook her head.
"I see the chicken soup we're going to make together!"
I taught your grandma ... and your daddy ... and now it's your turn!"
"With your secret ingredient and everything?"

"As Lily and GG snuggled together, Ariel's music wrapped around them just like GG's rainbow afghan."

The Buzz
"…simple but emotionally resonant illustrations…a nice, true-to-life touch…The book pairs an ethereal illustration with lyrical text, which truly captures the healing, transporting power of music in this setting. A welcome addition to children’s literature about death and dying." ~ Kirkus Reviews
"This book is beautifully written and illustrated. The author takes a difficult subject and weaves a story full of life lessons. The universal themes of life, death, family, loss, and chicken soup are shared through a child’s eyes and remind us that even after one dies, love remains." ~ Jamie O’Malley, President and CEO, Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter
"GG and Mamela is a large helping of Chicken Soup for the heart and soul. It helps children cope with the death of a loved one in gentle and understanding terms. Belinda Brock has done a great service for children and parents alike." ~ Rabbi Evan Moffic, Spiritual Leader of Congregation Solel and Author
"This is a WONDERFUL story for families who are grappling with loss, death and dying. This is a wonderful story about a special relationship between a girl and her great grandmother at the end of her beautiful life. Very moving story, perfect for children!!" ~ 5 Star Review, Laura, Goodreads

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
"Only one person called Lily Mamela ['little girl']... and that was her great-grandmother", whom Lily affectionately calls GG. Lily and GG are the best of friends: "You're my GG and I'm your Mamela." "And that's the way it will always be." But one day Lily finds out her GG is "coming to the end of her own special life."
This is a lovely book about love and loss, beautifully illustrated by Avi Katz. The message is simple but deep, and both the words and pictures are deeply moving. The book ends with GG's chicken soup recipe with her "secret ingredient and everything." It is followed by a note for parents and caregivers, which may help parents explain hospice care and the imminent loss of a loved one to their children.
Highly recommended.

About the Author
Currently a writing coach and free-lance editor, Belinda Brock's background is in teaching and educational publishing. She loves the intersection of literature and art found in picture books and believes their appeal and benefit extend beyond childhood. She also enjoys farmers’ markets, dreaming up soup recipes and Meatless Mondays. Although she didn’t become a librarian as she once considered, she is the sponsor and steward of the Little Free Library in her city. She has been known to stay up past her bedtime reading. Belinda writes about literacy, children and books on her blog and also at Highland Park Sun-Times where you can check out this great interview with Belinda.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.