After losing her baby sister when she was 2.5 years old, our oldest daughter, Caroline has had a lot of grief. She has so many emotions. One of the big ones is just anger. She’s angry that she didn’t get any time with her sister. She’s angry that she didn’t get to play with her and show her any love.
Books have helped Caroline tremendously over the past few years.
We have several children’s books on our shelf about death. And even more about managing feelings and emotions.
Our latest book addition is called “These Precious Little People,” by Frankie Brunker.
I “met” the author, Frankie Brunker, online almost 1 year after we lost April Rey. She was in the process of publishing this book, so I reached out to her. I read the manuscript and helped share it on my Facebook page to get word out. I remember reading the book and just loving the words. It wasn’t illustrated yet and I didn’t have a hard copy, so I didn’t read it to our 2.5 year old at the time.
I kept it on my list of books to purchase, though, because I knew it was going to be a great one to have on the shelf once it was published.
Fast forward almost 2 years later, and I now have a copy of this beautiful book.
One of my favorite things about this book is just literally how beautiful it is. It has stunning illustrations that capture so much emotion, and the families represented in the book are so inclusive of everyone. Every skin tone is represented and every family would feel included when reading this book.
And before I tell you about the incredible words and story that this book tells to our children, I’d love to tell you about the amazing work Frankie Brunker has been part of…
Frankie partnered with a charitable organization called Joel: The Complete Package, when writing this book. They sell copies of this book on their website, and all of the proceeds get put back into the charity to help support the work that they do.
And, with Frankie’s help raising awareness, they have been able to send out SO many copies of this book and get it into the hands of parents going through a loss. It’s incredible.
Frankie has gone through a loss herself, and knows firsthand the gravity of losing a baby. Her sweet Esme lives on in memory, and she’s written this book as a beautiful tribute to all of the precious little people lost far too soon.
“These little people are loved and missed such a lot. They started out just like you and me- no bigger than a dot.”
This book shows children how a baby grows from “no bigger than a dot,” to having a face and nose and eyes. It is an adorable description of what happens when life begins, and gives tribute to all little babies, “Whether they lived for forty weeks and beyond, or less than ten.”
And while some books are very specific and focused in on a type of loss for good reason, this book is vague and inclusive of all types of losses from miscarriage, to termination for medical reasons, to stillbirth. The type of loss is left for interpretation and discussion with your child.
The book then talks about remembering these precious little people, and ways to honor them.
It has such a special feel to it, and really leaves you feeling understood and connected. The language in this book is also appropriate for children. It has clear messages and doesn’t talk around death. It also shows children little ways to manage their grief and honor their sibling. And honestly, this book isn’t just for children. It’s a healing book for all to read.
Frankie Brunker is the mother of three precious little people and an avowed bookworm. Her first child, Esme, was stillborn in 2013, and she felt having to navigate explaining her death to young children within her family was made harder by there being no children’s book available that could explain accurately what had happened whilst in a beautiful and moving way. She also wanted more guidance as to how she could retain Esme’s place in the family in positive and special ways. She was inspired to write this book, and the safe arrival of Esme’s two siblings only cemented her desire to provide a resource to families that will do credit to how precious these little people really are. For more info about Frankie and the illustrator, Gillian Gamble, please see the full bio here.