Readers know this.
BUT I have not often stopped to consider books healing the people who create them.
As I mentioned in my #IMWAYR post, I was honored to meet both Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg at ALA in June. Both of them spoke eloquently about their work on Snowflakes Fall, a book Steven Kellogg felt called to create in response to the tragic events at Sandy Hook.
According to his dedication, Steven Kellogg moved to Newtown and the Sandy Hook village soon after publishing his first book and proceeded to illustrate another hundred books while there. He raised his family in Sandy Hook. His need to process the events led him to working with his friend, Patricia MacLachlan. This book's healing and beautiful message is carried out in both text and illustrations.
"After the flowers are gone
Each one a pattern
All its own--
No two the same --
Kellogg's illustrations are capture the natural surroundings of Sandy Hook, where fields and hills, trees and streams are the playground for the children. The natural world provides a backdrop for words that remind the reader that there is renewal and that while life continues, memories stay forever. The children frolic is this setting - sledding, building snow forts, making snowmen, capturing snowflakes on their tongues. Snowflakes, like children, are each unique. Setting this story in winter was a gracious way to bring forth the messages of renewal and celebrate each child as an individual.
Together Steven Kellogg and Patricia MacLachlan have created a beautiful tribute to the children of Sandy Hook. A book that will help heal readers. A book that helped heal them.