Wishes for One More Day
Written by Melanie Pastor, Illustrated by Jacqui Grantford
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 quarterly journal

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
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
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,
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,
, 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

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Lexile Measure: 500L
Mean Sentence Length: 7.97
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.55
Word Count: 916