This is a completely beautiful picture book, both gentle and powerful in its touching and emotionally resonant depiction of loss, grief and love. Tibble loves talking to Grandpa, but Grandpa has stopped listening, locked in his own world of grief since Granny died. But Tibble perseveres and his cheerful games of ‘Top Threes’, ‘what are your top three sandwiches’, ‘top three jellyfish’, ‘top three days out’, eventually break through. It is very moving to see Tibble and Grandad begin to talk and engage again as Grandad’s grief is unlocked by the strong relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Be prepared to cry at the end when the pair play ‘top three grannies’ and talk honestly about death, loss and memories.
This is a reassuring book for children who have lost a beloved adult, giving them the chance to talk about feelings and memories. It deals with death in an open way and shows that people lost in grief can be found and drawn back through love, patience, understanding and kindness. The book is full of humour as well as sadness and this is reflected in the beautiful, atmospheric and expressive illustrations. This is an excellent book for discussing bereavement and emotional literacy with children, with a perfect role model in Tibble, who never stops trying to communicate and engage. Highly recommended.