Moving Counsel for Children Facing Sadness (Book Review)

Welch, Edward T (ed). Henry Says Goodbye: When You Are Sad. New Growth Press, Greensboro, NC. 2019. 32 pages.

One of the toughest situations for children to understand may be when they face the death of someone who is dear. Whether it is a person or a pet, the news of a passing brings great sadness to a child. It is in those moments parents or other adults may wonder how they can approach this subject in a way that speaks the truth while also considering the child’s age. They may not have to look any further than the next book in the “Good News for Little Hearts” series. Henry Says Goodbye: When You Are Sad tells a story with both conviction and comfort.

A Moving Story

Edited by Edward T. Welch and illustrated by Joe Hox, Henry Says Goodbye is a moving story about Henry Hedgehog and his pet lady bug, Lila. He cherishes his pet, taking her to school, and introducing her to all his friends. He enjoys the times of fun together and caring for her. Then, one day Lila the lady bug is not feeling well. Henry heads off to school and upon returning home later that day, Henry’s mother shares Lila has died. He takes the news hard. His dad shares with Henry he too went through the loss of a pet and his father encouraged him to share his feelings of loss with God and others, reminding him of the comforting truth in the Good Book that God keeps a record of tears. After facing questions and dealing with grief and anger, Henry finds comfort from this biblical truth as he is comforted by family and friends.

Fitting and Faithful Counsel for Children

Henry Says Goodbye is fitting and faithful counsel for children when they feel sadness, particularly over the loss of someone or something. The animal characters in the story make the story fitting and engaging for the children the book is aimed to reach. The Back Pocket Bible Verse cut-outs move kids beyond the page to apply the truths learned from the story into their own life. Parents are also helped with a section in the back titled “Helping Your Child with Sadness”. Whether you are a parent, guardian, or youth leader, if you want to help younger elementary children learn how to handle sadness and loss in a way that deals with feelings and offers wise counsel, then make the move and buy Henry Says Goodbye.

I received this book from New Growth Press in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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