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The Picture Book Buzz

Sarah's Song - Perfect Picture Book Fiday #PPBF

Change is a part of everyone's life. Whether that's growing up, going to school, moving, travel, or watching a grandparent age. It is inevitable. But it can be hard, confusing, and sad. Perhaps even scary, especially for a young child.

In this week's picture book, Rosie Pova, the author of If I Weren't with You, addressed the emotions around change in a tender, creative manner. Acknowledging a child's fear and sadness and modeling a way to accept the changes, by creating new ways to make memories and fun.

Sarah's Song

Author: Rosie Pova

Illustrator: Emma Allen

Publisher: SPORK - Clear Fork (2017)

Ages: 6-10



Family, grandparents, change, music, and aging.

Synopsis (from Amazon):

Sarah searches for the perfect song to sing to her grandma--one that will make her well so they can share music and dance together again, just like they used to do. Sarah practices every day and tries different songs, but Grandma isn't getting better and the cane she's started using is not going away. Will Sarah find the perfect song? And could her song work in an unexpected way?

Opening Lines:

Sarah loved to sing and dance with Grandma.

"If you hold on to music, it'll always keep you going," Grandma had once told her.

Day after day, Sarah and Grandma moved to the beat as their voices joined together in song.

Why I like this book:

The sheer joy felt by both Sarah and her Grandmother in singing together everywhere, culminates in their performance at the Fall Festival.

However, time eventually caught up with Grandma. Convinced that the "right" song will heal Grandma and let her sing and dance again, Sarah tries and tries and tries. But "Grandma’s voice got weaker and her legs got wobblier." When no song or dance heals Grandma, Sarah begins to dread the Fall Festival. Until she helps create the perfect dress (from grandma's dress) and writes her own special song.

Without being overly cloying or didactic, Rosie Pova creates a story of a young girl coming to terms with the physical decline of her grandmother. Sarah's discovery, allows her and her grandmother to continue sharing their joy of music and their time together. Emma Allen's colorful illustrations are both tender and poignant. Look for Emma's additions of the family's cat and dog, which mirror Sarah's emotions. It is a sweet story of learning to accept change.


- visit a retirement or nursing home and read to or sing for a resident.

- create a special time or action with your grandparent, parent, aunt, etc.

- make up your own song or dance

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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