Walker Books Australia (2013)
Reviewed by Elinor Couper
Joy Cowley was asked to write a book that would help children deal with the death of a classmate and friend. Together, illustrator Chris Mousdale and award winning author Joy Cowley have created a sensitive story about a young boy named Brodie who has cancer and passes away. The story is told in the first person by one of Brodie’s friends and how he, his classmates and their teachers deal with the death of their classmate Brodie.
The book celebrates the life of the central character and touches on the grieving process. Brodie has many sojourns in hospital and one day did not come back. As Brodie becomes sicker his physical world shrinks to his hospital bed and his journal. Chris Mousdale has created full page colour illustrations in journal form to supplement the text.
Brodie dies, but somehow still seems very alive to his former classmates who continue to remember him and to laugh at the jokes he used to tell. This picture book is well done in its assertion that when a child dies, he or she leaves a strong imprint in the minds of those left behind.