The smell of pancakes in the morning usually signals a special day. Well, today is special, but
not at all happy, because dear Poppy has passed away. When Anna and her little brother hear
the sad news, they wonder how Poppy could have died before they had a chance to say
goodbye. If they only had one more day.
They begin to think about the joyful, exciting things they would do if they did have one more day
together with Poppy. Setting to work on a list, Anna writes and Joey draws the many ways they
would spend one more day. They smile thinking about Poppy’s crazy birthday hat, they giggle
remembering the silly songs Poppy plunked out on the piano, and they laugh out loud at the
chicken soup game they played weekly at the deli.
Anna and Joey’s list grow into a pile, and the pile becomes a book – a book of wishes for one
more day with Poppy – or, as their mother explains, a book of memories of the love and fun
they shared with him.
Death is never easy for young children to understand or cope with, especially the death of a
close, beloved relative. Creating a book of wishes provides Anna and her brother, and any child
who has experienced loss, with a comforting outlet for their feelings, helping them understand
that their loved one is still with them in their memories and hearts.
Hardcover, 32 full color pages, ages 4-8
ISBN 9780972922579, Fall 2006
Praise for Wishes for One More Day
"a heartfelt response to a sad but inevitable part of life but the illustrations are light and full of warmth...There will be many children who will
relate to this book and it is one that can and should be shared with all." - Reading Time, The Children's Book Council of Australia's
From Children's Literature (featured on the list of books for Grandparents' Day, Sept 10 2006)
"...[a] tribute to a dearly loved grandfather.... It is important to see how gently both parents go about discussing Poppy's death.... Parents
and care givers will find this book very useful in helping children cope with the loss of a grandparent…and maybe find a bit of solace for
themselves, as well."
From About.com Grandparents
When my father passed away, my grandchildren coped with his loss much as Anna and Joseph did in Wishes for One More Day. Through
art and writing, they expressed their grief. One granddaughter worked on her memorial book even during the funeral service.
Anna and Joey have no warning of their grandfather's impending death. Their grandfather died suddenly, in his sleep. My father was in
hospice for the last few days of his life, so our focus was preparing the family for a death. The same strategies that helped Anna and Joey
deal with an unexpected death also helped my family prepare for my father's death. Expressing emotions through art and writing can help
grandchildren deal with grief.
The family in the book is Jewish. Besides the reference to Matzah ball soup, there is a reference to the Jewish custom of the memorial
candle, and a relative is shown covering a mirror. Jewish grandparents may want to add this book to their collection of books for Jewish
families. Children of all faiths, however, will be able to relate to this book and may learn something about dealing with grief. If they also
learn something about a religious faith that is different from their own, that's a bonus.
The Bottom Line: Wishes for One More Day is the first picture book for Melanie Joy Pastor, a teacher. Jacqui Grantford, an Australian
illustrator who has won numerous awards, brings the story to life with her illustrations, which have a traditional, almost retro feel,
reminiscent of the Little Golden Books of my youth. It's a look that is altogether perfect for the subject matter.
For many children, the death of a grandparent is their first taste of death, and that's not a bad thing. It's part of the natural order of things
that grandparents should die first. Still, your family's unique characteristics should determine how you use this book. Whether Wishes for
One More Day is a part of the regular rotation at your house is up to you. Some grandchildren may be upset unnecessarily by the idea of
losing a beloved grandparent. For those grandchildren, it's probably better to save this book until it is needed. No matter how you choose
to utilize it, however, Wishes for One More Day is a good book to add to a collection of children's books about grandparents.
From The AJL Newsletter
"This book is highly recommended for the grief/death collection of all libraries. It deals with death in a realistic manner (a grandparent died,
not a turtle or hamster) and provides an active suggestion for coping with the loss. Wishes for One More Day is sad, because poppy has
died, yet it is consoling because of the memories of special times spent with him."-
From Foreword Magazine
"...Pastor goes beyond simply modelling the process [of working through grief]; she approaches it with depth, inventiveness, and sensitivity.
She... tells the story and delivers the lesson with tenderness and attention, without lapsing into cliché or sentimentality... This beautiful book
will be useful in classrooms, daycare centers, and church groups, to help children understand each other’s grief. It will be invaluable to any
child who has lost a loved one." - Karen McCarthy
"...this picture story book is a reassuring method of introducing the subject of death to younger children. For those already touched by such
a tragedy, it offers children with an empowering method of dealing with their loss." Anna Dogole, Large Print Reviews.com
"Share this book with your family to initiate conversations about loss and grief and to help establish the importance of the everyday joy of
life." Beverly J. Rowe, My Shelf.com
"Wishes for One More Day... is a sensitive story of the loss of a grandparent. ...there are no easy answers here, but a very lovely marking
of the endless special moments these children shared with their grandfather... Wishes for One More Day is a very strong addition to books
available on loss, tenderly articulating the "wishes" we all have." Esty Schachter, Ithaca Child, The Paper for Parents
"Readers will enjoy the cover picture of Poppy wearing his silly birthday hat with a cardboard candle sticking out of the top of it... This
would be very helpful and comforting to use with children who have lost a grandparent or other loved one. They will be encouraged to
think of their own memories of those dear to them, and will realize that they will always have those memories in their heart." Andrea
Davidson, Jewish Book World
"I found the book delightful because, for me, it really isn't about death. It is about the celebration of a human being and his relationships, as
well as about the things that are possible with such a strong connection. This is a compelling book with insight and value for all ages." -
Christine Hohlbaum, The Reading Tub
"...powerful and touching... This book serves as a great reminder of how the simple things are often the most important." - Christine Louise
Hohlbaum, author of SAHM I Am: Tales of a Stay-at-Home Mom in Europe
"...an excellent book that will resonate with many children who experience the death of someone they loved... It addresses the
unpredictable and various range of emotions, the different perspectives of adult and child, and the idea of how memories can be
comforting. ...This book would be a welcome addition to the children's section of our resource library." -- Dr. Patti Homan, Program
Director, PATHways Center for Grief & Loss
"With its magnificently soothing, portrait-quality illustrations by Jacqui Grantford, this touching story normalizes a child’s reactions to loss
with the added bonus of a built-in strategy for helping children cope at this difficult time. It will undoubtedly be a wonderful addition to your
collection." - Barbara Gruener, certified trainer for Character Counts!
"This is a dear, sweet book that focuses on the issue of death without making it beyond the understanding of 5-9 year olds." - Sybil
Kaplan, The National Jewish Post & Opinion
See all reviews...
|Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
Lexile Measure: 500L
Mean Sentence Length: 7.97
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.55
Word Count: 916