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  • Cathy Stenquist

Give Picture Books When You Don't Have the Words ...


When my father, a 'Type A' manger who was used to always being in control, was having a hard time with a diagnosis that turned his world upside down, I was at a loss for words. What could I say that expressed how I felt, and not be too emotional tripping over my words?


Since the written word is where I find inspiration, I sought out some books to send to him.

It turns out, there are many picture books that will help you tell your special someone what is in your heart.



Here are a few of my favorites:



"It was on top of the world when it happened.

Its entire life changed with the switch of a button."


Bug in a Vacuum

by Mélanie Watt


This heartwarming story takes the reader through The Kübler- Ross five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, despair, anger and acceptance. When a fly is sucked into a vacuum, all will relate to their world changing and trying to make it through the darkness. It ends on a hopeful note which was perfect for my father. Yes, he probably thought I was crazy...but in the end, it really touched his heart. It has just enough childlike fun in the illustrations to be at a kid's level and deep enough for any adult. Highly recommend.




"But that's only half the story... Because I decided to get back up.

And when I did, something amazing happened."


After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again

by Dan Santat


It was a brilliant idea Dan Santat had, to let us know what happened after this famous incident. The unexpected ending will make your heart soar. Inspiration for anyone afraid to take the next step in life, work. college, whatever!



"But one day, the unthinkable happened."


The Rough Patch

by Brian Lies



Brian Lie's amazing illustrations take us on a journey from hopelessness to hope. Tender and heartfelt, you can feel the emotion on every page. His use of shadows and white space evoke deep feelings for the reader. It is a great book to share with children when they encounter their first real losses in life and may need to talk about it.



"What is the bravest thing you've ever said?" asked the boy.

"Help," said the horse.


The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

by Charlie Mackesy


This book is a must have. A delicious gift for nearly every occasion you can think of. The beautiful pen and ink hand drawn illustrations and lettering feel like you are getting a peek inside someone's private journal where they write their deepest thoughts. While the book can be taken as a whole, each page stands alone and makes you ponder how this author can say so much in so few words. Every age will take away something at their own level. Amazing!


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