Work Title: Wishes for One More Day
Work Author(s): Melanie Joy Pastor; Jacqui Grantford, illustrator
Color illustrations, 32 pages
Children's Picture Book
Reviewer: Karen McCarthy
When Anna learns that her beloved grandfather has died, she wishes for one more day with him. Her wise mother asks, "What would you do in that one day?" Anna replies that they would play checkers, and her little brother, Joey, says that they would make sculptures with the Matzah balls in their soup. The children start to list how they would spend one more day with their Poppy---dancing around the living room while he played the piano, going camping in the backyard, cooking pancakes. Anna writes their wishes down, and little Joey draws pictures. When they have a stack of papers, Joey squeals, "Poppy would have had such a busy day!"
It's clear that the author intends this to be an exercise for children to work through grief, but she goes beyond simply modelling the process; she approaches it with depth, inventiveness, and sensitivity. Pastor, who teaches kindergarten and elementary school, has worked on a series of children's safety pamphlets called Kid Alert, and a children's video on handwriting. This is her first picture book, and she tells the story and delivers the lesson with tenderness and attention, without lapsing into cliche or sentimentality.
Anna's Mom, moved by the children's list, invites them to turn it into a book. She explains that it will fit in with their Jewish custom of lighting a memorial candle and gathering with loved ones to remember Poppy. For the frustrated Anna, though, remembering fun times with her...