Gus Loses His Grip: When You Want Something Too Much is one of the books in the second “trilogy” of the Good News For Little Hearts series. The story creator is Jocelyn Flenders who has a background in intercultural studies and counseling. Ed Welch, the editor, is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. Joe Hox has illustrated the other two books in this series, and you can see his style here.
Henry Hedgehog has a new pet—Lila Ladybug. Lila wows everybody at school as she flies and flips around pulling of tricks and stunts in her airshow. She’s the perfect pet. But one days she seems weak and tired, and when Henry comes home from school Lila has passed. He is devastated. He is sad, lonely, angry, and bitter. He is blind to the fact that his own sister misses Lila, yet he kicks over her blocks as he heads to school. But Papa Hedgehog later tells Henry that God is close to the crushed and brokenhearted. Lila was a good gift, and God cares for Henry in the midst of his pain. He is our merciful source of comfort.
The book ends with six ways to help your child with sadness. We don’t want our children to experience anguish, but since sorrow is a part of life we can use these opportunities for them to grow and learn how Jesus helps us in all matters of life. The Lord doesn’t minimize our loss. He doesn’t give a little bit of encouragement when a child loses a blanket but a lot of comfort when they lose a pet or a friend. God comforts those who grieve. Tel your children of a time when you felt grief, and give them space to think and eventually talk about it. Older kids will ask Why? They want to know if God cares. Remind them that he is near, and he comforts. And because he does, we comfort too. We look forward to the new creation when every tear will be wiped away. “Even children can taste something of the sufferings of Jesus, participate in his comfort, and share the hope of heaven and the good news of Jesus with their friends.”
This would have been a perfect series to have as a child. In my life, hardly anyone close to me has died. A few pets, a grandfather when I was young, an old friend, and distant relatives. I haven’t been hit heavy with close deaths, but I still long for the day when we say good-bye to good-byes (my review here). If you have pets, your children, like Henry, will experience the death of a relationship. Henry Says Good-Bye will help them deal with loss while being comforted by Christ.
- Series: Good News for Little Hearts
- Author: Jocelyn Flenders
- Editor: Ed Welch
- Illustrator: Joe Hox
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Age Range: 5-11 years
- Publisher: New Growth Press (October 7, 2019)
- Read a sample
- Other book reviews on the series:
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