Kisses on the Wind by Lisa Moser, illustrated by Kathryn Brown

The covered wagon is being packed for the long trip to Oregon, but Lydia can’t imagine leaving her grandmother so far behind.  As her departure nears, Lydia and her grandmother walk together in the woods, float bark boats in the pond, and rest together in the long grass.  Grandma gives her a book filled with her stories to take along on the trip. They both quietly, solemnly, and beautifully say goodbye.

This is a picture book that will make your heart ache.  The gentle and prolonged farewell of these two people who obviously are kindred spirits is depicted with a real beauty and care.  Moser crafts a quiet story that is very moving.  Brown’s art matches the gentleness of the story perfectly with its muted colors and gentle lines.  The book never descends into maudlin emotionalism, in fact it is its inherent restraint that makes it work so well.  Bright-eyed Grandma, Lydia with her fly-away hair, and the natural setting all provide an antidote to excessive sweetness.

An ideal book for children who are moving, children whose extending family is moving away, or children of divorce.  It is a book that will work in many setting for many children, a book that really shows and feels the sadness of leaving someone behind.  Appropriate for ages 4-7.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Becky at Young Readers.