About the Book
Title: GG and Mamela | Author: Belinda Brock | Illustrator: Avi Katz | Publication Date: April 15, 2014 | Publisher: Lamb Press | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 10
Summary: 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.
Review by Spark and Pook:
GG and Mamela by Belinda Brock is a heartfelt picture book that addresses the very difficult topic of terminal illness. This heartwarming story of the very close bond between Mamela and her great-grandmother (GG) is told in a warm and gentle tone. Readers can feel the love these two have for each other as they spend time together doing things like making chicken soup and reliving stories from GG’s photo album.
This book could serve as a useful tool for parents and children with a loved one facing or experiencing hospice. Readers get a glimpse of what a hospice is like as they follow along with Mamela on her visits to GG. The author provides a way of openly talking to youngsters about death in a way they can most likely relate to it.
“I’ve been thinking about Cammy, our hamster, who died last summer. Do you remember?”
The author gives readers another conversation to have with their children. The idea that we can keep our loved ones close through our memories and feelings for them is shown in the repetitive phrase,
“Mamela and GG. That’s the way it will always be.”
The lovely flowing water-color style illustrations by Avi Katz are an integral part of the story. I appreciate the way the book presents the inevitable ending; with a wordless picture of Mamela alone looking through GG’s special family photo album. There is a very helpful note written at the end of the book by Dr. Laura Brock, a clinical psychologist, which contains additional suggestions for families in this situation.
The Early 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
About the Author: Belinda Brock
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–grandbooking–at http://belindabrock.com and also at Highland Park Sun-Times where you can check out this great interview with Belinda.
GG and Mamela Blog Tour Schedule (2014)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: June 6, 11:59 pm, 2014
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Belinda Brock and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.