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Evan and the Skygoats

by Vanessa Vassar (author) and Ophelia Cornet (illustrator).

After his sister passes away, three-year-old Evan struggles to understand his own feelings and the sadness that envelops his family. Beautifully imagined and illustrated, Evan’s magical journey offers a compelling message about the power of the natural world to heal, to reassure, and to affirm our lasting connections to the ones we love. A wonderful, insightful and heart-warming story to comfort children of all ages. Based on her own personal experience healing from the loss of her daughter, the author also shares a list of Love Thoughts, useful advice for those grieving and for the family and friends helping them.

PRAISE for Evan and the Skygoats

“A beautiful book allowing people of all ages to have a gentle journey into the power of healing from loss. The book provides an opening for improved family dynamics, open-communication and therapeutic dialogue.”
— DR. TED WIARD, LPCC, CGC, Author, Founder and Executive Director of Golden Willow Retreat

“Grief from the point of view of a child is portrayed in its full complexity. . . . In a landscape of children’s literature that mostly shies away from this difficult subject, Evan and the Skygoats stakes readers on a journey toward acceptance of tragedy. What a welcome addition to the landscape of children’s literature.”
— KATIE STONE, Producer of The Children’s Hour Radio Show

“This wise, frank book will bring unexpected smiles of solace to the grieving—while tapping into the magical and fundamentally mysterious wellsprings that flow toward healing.”
—HAMPTON SIDES, Bestselling Author of On Desperate Ground, In the Kingdom of Ice, Blood and Thunder, and other works of narrative history and literary nonfiction

“A book touchingly told and beautifully illustrated where the wonders of nature are used to illuminate and alleviate a family’s great grief.”
—SHEILA KOHLER, Author of Love Child, Dreaming for Freud, and Becoming Jane Eyre

“A luminous book. . . Magnificent artwork and references to the unique culture, land, and light of New Mexico enhance this masterpiece.”
—MIRABAI STARR, Author of Caravan of No Despair and Wild Mercy

“A magnificent and poignant story brought to life with magical illustrations. From the first page to the last, this book took my breath away. It’s sure to equally mesmerize kids and adults.”
—LAURIE B. ARNOLD, Author of Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting for You!

“Very beautiful and moving. . .”
—MARY LANCE, Filmmaker, Blue Alchemy: Stories of Indigo, Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World, and Diego Rivera: I Paint What I See

“A truly wonderful book. Fine writing, beautiful illustrations, and a great contribution and comfort for so many folks.”
—BENSON DAITZ, MD

“The art in the book is phenomenal. A welcome addition to resources for counselors, Evan and the Skygoats is a lovely expression of the passage of time and the blanketing of emotions, at times suffocating or comforting, that follow the death of a family member. It provides a quiet, gentle place for grieving parents to emotionally rest when day-to-day tasks become overwhelming. Perhaps most importantly it offers grieving parents a glimmer of hope. Vanessa was very brave to extend a heartfelt embrace to parents.”
—CONNIE GRIFFIN, Children’s Book Buyer and Bookseller, Bookworks Albuquerque

“Wow! Evan and the Skygoats is a magnificently moving and luminously illustrated, stellar story book that has earned its own significant place among the constellations of radiant and enduring literature in the big picture, under the sheltering Sky!”
—JENNIFR GOODMAN, Film Director, The Tao of Steve

“Often, children who lose a sibling wake up one day in a dramatically different and confusing world. As their caregivers are also grieving, the turmoil can feel all-encompassing. Vanessa Vassar’s depiction of the bewildering yet still beautiful world of a grieving child will speak truth to families in the midst of grief, as well as friends and community members who love those experiencing loss and don’t know what to do or say. Ms. Vassar’s “Love Notes” provide practical guidance and teach an age-old lesson that all members of grieving families must learn to find balance and thrive again: the only constant is change. Parents, schools and play groups should meet brave Evan and his Skygoats.”
—JADE RICHARDSON BOCK, Co-Author of Parenting Through Grief

“The book is beautiful! And the illustrations are gorgeous. And more importantly, the boys LOVED it (I read it to them for their bedtime story last night).
—KAREN O’REILLY, Author and Resettlement Expert at UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency

The book is beautiful. Vanessa Vassar’s words and Ophelia Cornet’s art really complement each other. I was moved at many points, starting with the comment that Evan’s hugs made everything better—even the weeping trees. The culmination of the story in dream travel to the stars hits on an archetype, and I have felt grateful to my own dreams as a world where I meet up with—and can touch and even smell—loved ones that I’ve lost. And thank you for being explicit in listing acts of love that can be helpful to yourself or to a loved one grieving.”
—CALINE CONE, MD, Family Medicine

“So beautiful, and necessarily thoughtful. This book is charming and important for the sleepy journey it draws you into, and priceless for the words of advice at the end.”
—ANNA DARRAH, Film Producer/Director

“This story is wonderful! Thank you for writing this. The book will be a blessing for many families! I cried by the time I finished it!
—NANCY COONRIDGE, Owner, Coonridge Goat Farm

After three-year-old Evan’s sister Sky dies, he and his family struggle to cope. As he tenderly navigates his grief, often by seeking her spirit in the sky, a visitor arrives. She brings with her a freshness of spirit and a novel idea: what the family needs is to adopt baby goats. . . . the transition into a work of surreal folklore, via a dreamlike, goat-attended journey to the sky, vivifies the story. Cornet’s appealing mixed-media artwork depicts the ethereal, star-speckled journey as Evan and his goat companions navigate the heavens in search of his sister. Final pages include guided “love thoughts” for both those grieving and those offering their support. A lovely offering for readers seeking additional grief resources. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

$18.95 HARDCOVER
ISBN 978-1945652042
48 Pages | 8.5 x 8.5
JUVENILE FICTION / Grief & Bereavement
Ages 3 and up
Publishes October 21,  2019

About Vanessa Vassar (author)

About Ophelia Cornet (illustrator)


Book categories: Childrens


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