Remembering Crystal

Remembering Crystal by Sebastian Loth

Zelda is a young goose who adores her friend Crystal who is an aging turtle.  Despite their age difference, the two of them enjoy many of the same things.  They love reading books, swimming together, taking trips and talking about life.  But one day when Zelda goes to the garden, Crystal is not there.  The other geese try to explain that she was old and is gone, but Zelda doesn’t believe them.  She searches for Crystal and when she can’t find her begins to remember what Crystal taught her about art and the world.  After some grieving, Zelda realizes that Crystal will be with her always.

A warm, sweet book that speaks to the impact of losing a friend, pet or a grandparent. Though short sentences, Loth slowly exposes readers to the special friendship of the two characters.  It is this lingering pace and tone that makes the book work so well as you have time to think and appreciate while reading.  Loth also keeps the illustrations simple.  They are pleasingly presented on paper that is marked, creased and aged.  Beautifully and gently presented.

Books on death can verge on the saccharine at times.  This book manages to be sweet and fresh thanks in part to the humor of the book and the illustrations.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from NorthSouth.