Have you ever lost someone? Or been told about someone who died but who you never met? ‘Where’s Uncle Al?’ is a delicate exploration of just that.**
The story behind receiving ‘Where’s Uncle Al?’
One of my followers on Instagram, contacted me in March. She was looking for a book to read to her child. Sadly, she had recently lost her father, whom her child had never met. Although on my Instagram account, I often post books around the theme of loss and bereavement, I couldn’t think of one to fulfil this particular brief.
So, on Instagram and Twitter I asked my followers for recommendations. Library Girl and Book Boy, aka Jo Cummins suggested ‘Where’s Uncle Al?’ The publishers (All Around Publishing) sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
What is Where is Uncle Al about?
Lily’s uncle dies before she is born. He doesn’t come to visit her when she is born or for Sunday lunch. There are pictures up of him around the house. Where could he be?
Lilly has a plan, she is going to invite her uncle to her 6th birthday. But when she tells her mum, she simply shakes her head. Obviously he doesn’t come to her party, so she decides to ask some members of her family where he is. But it just ends up confusing her. That is until her sister explains it to her in straightforward terms.
Lily still has questions, what could they be? Will she come to find the answers and understand where Uncle Al is?
Keep in mind when reading Where is Uncle Al?**
When discussing where her Uncle has gone, this story makes reference to an after life. Some of Lily’s family say he is in heaven, others that he is in a different form. Depending on your religious beliefs or personal preferences, this might be an important consideration. Make sure to pre-read if you are unsure. But I always recommend that anyway.
This book is a good way to open up discussions with children. Also, one of my favourite parts of Where is Uncle Al was when Lily’s sister, was straight with her, that her Uncle was no longer alive. Sometimes, as tough as it may seem, children might have a better understanding if you speak to them in a matter of fact way.
The illustrations both on the front cover and inside the book are stunning. Vibrant and bursting with colour, adding a playful joy to an important subject matter.
On Hookable Books I blog and review books to get kids talking about tricky themes and topics. As well as booklists, for example, a list of bedtime stories to read, and ones where all children are represented, such as LGBT picture books.
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