Umpa’s garden was filled with flowers and fruit trees. With Umpa the child learns about how to grow something, about the power of stories, of words and the sharing they bring. What happens when one day Umpa is no longer there?
Victoria Turnbull’s pastel palette and delicate lines capture the gentle message of the story – the death of a loved ‘Umpa’ and how to help a child cope with loss. The text and the illustrations emphasise the connection between the old and the very young; a connection through stories that take them on imaginative shared journeys against the background of the birth and growth of the seeds that have been planted. I do have slight reservations in the portrayal of the characters – what are they? Also in the final spread which the literal child might find confusing in its message. These are quibbles – beautifully packaged and presented this should find a place among other titles that deal with this situation, making a valuable contribution that is both attractive and accessible.