"The poet Kahlil Gibran writes: 'Could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy; And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.'"
In Memories of Papa, author Sharon Nichols celebrates the “daily miracles of life” in a story of the trusting tender relationship between a child and her grandfather as they set out together to plant a tree.
The woodland setting with its spruce trees, and bees, its birds and butterflies, and its small curious creatures comes alive through the exquisite artwork of Karen Thompson.
The story does not minimize the loss of someone deeply loved. Rather it honours the season of pain that slowly yields to a time of joy renewed.
The child becomes a woman, her memories softened to delight. She now gives her daughter the gift of planting a tree.This is a book that embraces, accepts and finally celebrates the seasons of our hearts."
Anne Kathleen McLaughlin
Author of "A place called Morning"
Readers can go through Memories of Papa in one sitting, or there are plot pauses where one could leave off, discuss, then pick-up at a subsequent reading.
The parallels in events and repetition of phrases make the metaphor for life cycles, which can sometimes be abstract, richer, and accessible.
It also recognizes the uncomfortable changes we resist in life that children can relate to. Further, I found the gentle way of Papa’s passing sad but not upsetting. Again, the cycle of life.
Similarly, the “Daddy tree” was cut down too.
The appreciation and stewardship of nature are apparent, joyful, and not heavy-handed.
The illustrations are sweet and magical and not weird or cartoony.
There is lots of text to work with for growing readers – adjectives, personification, present and past tense, and a few polysyllabic terms.
It does not talk down to children. Thank you so much!
retired Teacher Librarian
In Memories of Papa, the children and adults are deeply connected and have much respect and love for one another.
I like very much how both the grandfather and the mother give the girls lots of time and space to choose just the right place to plant their trees - and that they take time each year to visit the seedlings and enjoy their surroundings.
The repetition of selecting the right place and planting, and then carrying the ribbon forward by tying it on the newest seedling is very effective in confirming the circle of life.
I also like how, in this gentle yet honest story, Karry admits to feeling angry at Papa for leaving her and the tree - and finds a way to accept that and not let it stop her from renewing this beautiful tradition with her daughter. The changes in Karry's clothing from pink to hiking boots effectively makes a subtle point regarding additional changes in her life.
I think both parents and children will enjoy this story's warmth and could encourage them to start their traditions.
Twyla Dawn Weixl
Professor at Munich University
Children’s author Sharon Nichols has written a book as beautiful as it is touching.
Her character Papa lovingly instills in his granddaughter Karry the tradition of visiting a tree in the forest that the two of them have planted. Every year they go on a pilgrimage to see how it has grown and how important it is to the forest.
When the day inevitably arrives that Papa is no longer around, Karry continues her grandfather’s legacy with her own daughter.
The result is a story of generational love and the sweet passing on of family rituals and a love for nature.
The warm illustrations by Karen Thompson successfully capture the themes and tone of the story and more than do it justice.
A wonderful gift to be shared with a child or grandchild this Christmas.
Gwen Storie, White Pine Books
Memories of Papa left with me a feeling of gratitude, a connection to my family, and a renewed commitment to creating traditions.
I read it with my children, who were captivated by the water-painting soft illustrations, which featured an enchanted forest and many curious animals that appeared throughout the pages.
This book has all the hallmarks of traditional storytelling. The narrator has the voice of an elder and uses nature as a metaphor for life.
Gently and compassionately, the author teaches through a heart-warming story, what I feel is an essential life lesson; "the only thing that is constant is change."
It reinforces the family's bond, and although the dynamics change over time, the family is eternal.
Enjoy reading this book and connecting with your children, just as I did.
Kris J. Simpson
Amazon Best Selling Author
Hand in hand Memories of Papa will take children and adults on a tender gentle journey.
Page by page the intriguing magical forest characters transport you through heartfelt life memories.
Sharon Nichols, touching story and Karen Thompson’s enchanting illustrations, create a wonderful, wise
and warm children’s book.
Author of "Swim Time with the AquaBudz"