Grandad's Prayer of the Earth

Book review by
Sharon Asta, Common Sense Media
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Moving story offers opportunities for discussion.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

Handles the concepts of loss and death, from a child's viewpoint, with integrity and inspiration.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while this beautifully conceived story won't have children giggling, the words will prompt many thoughtful discussions. Rustic illustrations will immediately capture kids' attention.

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What's the story?

Trees pray. Birds pray. Grandad eloquently describes how everything prays, but his grandson can't seem to hear nature's prayers. Years after Grandad's death, the boy discovers Grandad's message. He finds beauty in nature and feels his grandfather close once again. Stunning illustrations and lyrical text bring family together for this poignant story.


Is it any good?

Opportunities for discussion abound throughout this story. Each paragraph encourages talks about the natural world, self-discovery, and the comfort of prayer. The concept of prayer is introduced via the tangible world of nature. Warm, earth-tone, watercolor illustrations enhance the reassuring mood. Stunning perspectives take the reader on a journey of discovery -- first at grass level, as the boy observes the wonder of a flower, then soaring up to the treetops.

The metaphorical text may become long for a restless youngster, so discussions and short readings may be appropriate. Older children will appreciate the ability to think for themselves about the meaning of prayer and death, or the wonders of nature. This is a book to share with others -- especially with children who have lost a loved one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the concept of death and the meaning of prayer. What are some of the ways people react when a loved one dies? How does prayer help some people?

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