Red City Review
"This is a well-executed children's book. The message is hopeful and uplifting, and although the story could possibly confuse children about the reality that they won't really be able to see their loved ones, it is written is such a way that the magic is understood as a temporary and wonderful exception. Courtney has picked a great format to showcase her story, with the handwritten diary entries paired by cute little illustrations to compliment the narrative. All in all, this is a great short story to help children of all ages cope with the death of someone they love."
Robert Fletcher, CEO of Strategic Book Publishing and Rights Agency, said:
"This book will help children deal with death through simple concepts, We are thrilled to announce its release."
HALL WAYS REVIEW: The topics of death and grief are not typically covered in children's books, and there is definitely a need. Author Suzanne Gene Courtney has created a beautifully illustrated story and its strength is in its simplicity. Each page is a lined diary entry that contains short sentences in neatly printed text and is accompanied by bright colored-pencil drawings. The vocabulary, complexity of the sentences, and style of the illustrations are perfect for kids ages six to eight. Adults who are choosing this book for a grieving child need to be aware of the approach taken by the author. In Dear Diary, it is shown that a child can find comfort in the belief that there are angels and an after-life in Heaven for those who have died. However, it also goes a step further and shows that our dead loved ones can still visit and interact with the living. The sentiment is wonderful -- and if it does happen for anyone, I am sure it would be most comforting. The concern is that some children might read this book and expect the interaction with the deceased to be the norm and be even more sad if it doesn't happen for them. As such, I'd recommend an adult and child read the book together and discuss. Dear Diary is tender and heart felt. Though the topic is sad, it shows the child's progression into acceptance of her brother's death and knowledge that his love will always remain within her.
June, 2018Dear Diary: My Brother Died Today received an Honorable Mention in the Spiritual category by Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Story Monsters, LLC).