Wednesday, May 2, 2018

A Story About Heartache

I have said before that I think picture books are not just for kids. The messages they carry, delivered with such precision, soulfulness, and sometimes humor, are relevant at any age. Heartache is universal. To create is to risk loss. Not even children are immune. My selection for this week is a meditation on how kids, and adults, process their heartache.

The Rabbit Listened, a picture book written and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld, starts out with Taylor building something new. Something he loved. Something he tragically lost. Taylor is left terribly sad. A series of animals notices and each one tries to console him the best way they know how. Chicken tries to get him to talk. Bear tries to get him to shout. Elephant tries to get him to remember the way things were. None of it works for Taylor. Only Rabbit knows what Taylor really needs.

I love the process Taylor goes through. I think that kids will see themselves in Taylor's experience. Taylor's feelings reflect their own and therefore can potentially give them the space they need to process heartache. Or maybe it will give them the tools to find their own Rabbit to help them through a tough time. There are no extra words in The Rabbit Listened, just quiet and the space to listen and heal.

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