Felix After the Rain
Author & Illustrator: Dunja Jogan
Editor & Translator: Olivia Hellewell
Tiny Owl Publishing
Ages: 5 to 7 years old, Grades P to 3
Yes, this is a book that you can easily sit and read with a child that has suffered a loss, of any type. But it’s more than that, it’s a book that teaches loss is inevitable; loss is something that must and can be overcome.
Winner of the English Pen Award (New & Exciting Literature into English) and part of Tiny Owl Publishing’s Hope in a Scary World series, Felix After the Rain, takes on a tough subject, dealing with the death of a loved one, and distills it to its most basic essence: dealing with the baggage left behind. This achingly beautiful book vividly illustrates how a child doesn’t cope, then does, then succeeds.
Felix’s despair is literally trapped in a suitcase he carries with him, barely managing to push it along. After a chance meeting with a boy at the top of a hill (The spirit of his grandmother? His other self while he slept? Something else?), Felix’s despair is released, the storm is weathered and the journey down the hill is easier. Felix is once again happy.
The imagery in this book, both literal (Jogan’s illustrations are masterful, they ache with both pain and joy) and figurative (Hellewell’s prose is sparse yet speaks volumes) lends this book to a discussion on multiple levels. Yes, this is a book that you can easily sit and read with a child that has suffered a loss, of any type. But it’s more than that, it’s a book that teaches loss is inevitable; loss is something that must and can be overcome.
Jogan & Hellewell employ the hill metaphor subtly. There is no great peak to climb; only a modest hill. Indeed, while your eyes are trained on the baggage, you may even lose sight of the hill you are climbing.
The recommended ages for the book are set at five to seven-years old. And, for that age, it works, given the usual caveat that depending on the child more or less assistance is required. I would feel comfortable, however, giving this book to an adult friend who is grieving as well. It allows one to grieve, yes. It also allows one to hope, love and move forward.
If you want to purchase a copy of Felix After the Rain, and support my endeavors at the same time, you can click on one of the links below. No extra cost to you, and it will help me out! More books to read, more reviews to do!
Felix After the Rain (Support an Independent Bookstore)
Felix After the Rain (Hardcover at Amazon)*
More books for this Age Group can be found here.
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My thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for providing an Advance Copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.
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