Sammy in the Sky by Barbara Walsh, illustrations by Jamie Wyeth
This is a wonderful children’s picture book that I would recommend for ny family with pets, regardless of the age of the kids. Even grownups will like this story, as it goes though the life of a family dog, and with simple, sweet illustrations that are not too cute or too childish, deal with the loss of a dog to old age.
The illustrations are by Jamie Wyeth – and yes, he’s one of THOSE Wyeths, grandson and son of NC and Andrew Wyeth. And as it turns out, he’s a dog lover, too, so when the author contacted him, he happily agreed to do the book.
The story is simple, sweet and deals with the death of a beloved hound, and how “his” girls and family deal with it. It is not at all depressing, or somber, and does not take any religious slant in particular. It’s just a gentle story that ends on a positive note, one that I think any child will like.
As so many families are spread apart geographically these days, children often don’t grow up near grandparents and older generations, so the death of a pet is their first experience with death. This book is the only one like it I have encountered, and is not at all pedantic, just straightforward and loving. Read it to child you love, even if it’s your own inner child!
And by the way, I got to interview the author on the radio, and you’ll be happy to know another hound dog, a rescue named Jack, was sitting in the car with her, as we did the interview while she was pulled over in the car!