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Summary: A young Christmas tree misses his dad, and wonders why his mom never cries. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a tree remembers his life hosting birds nests and other special memories. This is a story that uses the allegory of Christmas trees to help kids understand grief.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 8 and Up
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Age of Child: Read with a 9-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: This was not my daughter's favorite Julia Cook book, but it was likely because of the subject. Reading Grief is Like a Snowflake led to a discussion of the loss of her grandfather.
Adult Reader Reaction: Christmas trees are a great "symbol" that help kids understand being separated from a loved one. The story itself was "okay." I didn't like the scene switching between the little tree and father tree, then back again. I also thought the cardinals building a nest was too subtle for this audience.
Pros: Grief isn't an easy concept to explain, and parents / counselors will find Grief is Like a Snowflake a helpful story for stating the conversation.
Cons: Some elements of the story might be too subtle for young readers.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a book to keep in mind if you are experience a death or loss in your family. The story is not one that you'd read as a regular bedtime story, but is helpful in talking about loss with kids.