Zayde Comes to Live
by Sheri Sinykin, illustrated by Kristina Swarner
Peachtree, 2013. Unpaged. Picture Book
Rachel's grandfather--her zayde--comes to live with her family because he is dying. He can only play with her for a few minutes a day, and he runs out of breath while reading her stories. Rachel wants to know what will happen to him when he goes. Her friend Megan has described the Christian heaven to her, and her friend Hakim has described the Muslim paradise. Rachel's family is Jewish. Rabbi Lev tells her Zayde will live "until the moment he dies." And Zayde himself tells her that though his body will be gone, his spirit will live on. It is hard to imagine a more tender, gentler story for children needing to deal with a death in their family. So well done, and beautifully well illustrated.