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I’ve established a reputation over 6+ years of helping customers find books their children with love, through book stalls, and online since March 2020. 

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Melissa x


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The Hare-Shaped Hole by John Dougherty

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One of 22 hand-picked Empathy picture books for primary schools.

This recently published picture book immediately got my attention and had to be added to my top recommendations for children’s picture books about grief and loss. Told in beautiful rhyming text, this touching and sensitive story will help all ages to explore their emotions when they loose someone close to them.

Bertle the Tortoise and Hurtle the Hare are the best of friend, and they do everything together. But, one day quite suddenly and unexpected Hurtle is not there anymore and all that is left is: “a hole in the air where a hare ought to be”.

When Hurtle the Hare has gone his loss is cleverly shown by a black silhouette which follows Bertle where every he goes. This captures in a visual way that sense of emptiness that one can feel when you loose someone close to you, which could help a child experiencing grief process their emotions and the adults in their lives to support them.

“Now, Gerda was gentle and Gerda was steady, so we waited with Bertle until she was ready.”

A while later Gerda the Bear comes along and waits patiently until Bertle is ready and then gives him a hug. He explains that life is not always happy and encourages Bertle to fill the empty black spaces, with memories of “All the games you have played and the ways you had fun.” and to take those memories with him. Again really clever use of illustrations is made and the black empty silhouette of his friend Hurtle is filled with colours and brightness as he remembers the good times they had together.

Highly recommend for 3 to 89 years.

Free postage when you spend £20 or more.

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