In this gentle meditation on the cycle of life, author and illustrator Paloma Valdivia gives us an opportunity to reflect on those who have gone, those who will come, and those of us who are here in this world — for the time being.
The neighbor’s cat, a favorite aunt or the fish in yesterday’s soup have gone — and we may well miss them. At the same time, we celebrate the arrival of a new baby or a litter of playful kittens. It’s a mystery where we come from and where we are going, so why not enjoy ourselves while we can?
Paloma Valdivia’s charming illustrations bring a light touch to this candid contemplation of life and death.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
About the authors
PALOMA VALDIVIA was born in Chile where she studied design, followed by post-graduate studies in illustration in Barcelona. She has collaborated with several media companies, museums and publishing houses, and she has published many illustrated children’s books. She won a prestigious Plaque award at the Biennial of Illustrations, Bratislava, and the Spanish edition of this book won Santiago’s municipal award, Mexico’s CANIEM award and an honorable mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award. Paloma lives in Chile.
Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.
- Commended, Kirkus Best Picture Books
The illustrations are wonderfully bright and joyous. This is a delightful, provocative book to share and discuss with a child. It will inspire many questions from children which in my opinion, is the whole point of the book.
It’s a mystery where we come from and where we are going, so why not enjoy ourselves while we can? Paloma Valdivia’s charming illustrations bring a light touch to this candid contemplation of life and death.
A tribute to those who pass, a celebration of time here, and a multilayered rumination on the cycle of life.
Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Valdivia offers a bold and surprisingly lighthearted view of existence.
This Chilean author/illustrator’s meditation on the cycle of life makes perfect reading for the end of summer/back to school season, with its potent mixture of melancholy and excitement.(...)Valdivia’s rich colours, her Paul Klee-like, geometric figures and intricate patterns, all deepen a sense of the mystery and rightness in the fleeting quality of time and life itself.
This charmingly illustrated picture book tackles the very difficult topic of life and death and the mysteries that are so often associated with them. … A lovely addition to larger library collections.
School Library Journal