Shriver, Maria. What's Heaven. Illustrated by Sandra Speidel. Golden Books, 1999. ISBN 0-307-44043-5. $15.00. Not paginated. B 1-3 PB Reviewed by Nancy Alder Written to answer her children's questions after the death of their great-grandmother, this book competently covers the sensitive topic, although it's done in a manner more stilted than, for example, Why did Grandma Have to Die? or Rylant's Dog Heaven. The pastel watercolor illustrations set a nice mood, and the text has the feel of sitting on the porch chatting. Still, there is a distinct sense of an adult talking down to a child. Some of the explanation won't jibe with every reader's beliefs, but the book certainly serves as a good conversation starter. The overall feel is gentle, reassuring, and pleasant. A good choice to read with a child to ease fears and open discussion.
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