Title: Imagine Our Special Place
Author: Kelly Louise Jarris, illustrated by Sandunika Dissanayake
Publisher: InHouse Publishing
Published: July 2022
Synopsis: Imagine Our Special Place is a lovely story about two sisters who go for adventures in the clouds. They get to eat raindrop shaped cookies and sip from a golden cup made from the sun.
Sophie is unwell and imagines what it is like to live in the sky. The book is dedicated to my late sister Sharlene who showed us all what real strength is.
Another beautiful book from Kelly Louise Jarris about the special bond between siblings, and what happens when one sibling gets very sick and becomes an angel. Sophie is very sick – so she creates an imaginary special place for her and her sister in the clouds. With special cookies, and rainbows, and a drink from the sun. In their special place, they are together, surrounded by fairies and magic and away from the hospital and sickness. They can be themselves, and if Sophie’s sister imagines their special place, they will always be together.
Sophie’s world of rainbow slides and magic sun cups is a lovely way to help children understand death and illness like cancer that can change a family and community. It allows children to come to terms with losing a sibling in a gentle way, and shows that whilst it is scary being sick, using your imagination is a lovely way to help you and those around you find a way to cope with it and understand what is going on.
The story is based on Kelly’s own experience with her sister, and what it means to be close, to have a special place where you will always be together even when one of you is no longer in the human world. It is an experience that too many families go through. Kelly deals with it in a sensitive and accessible way for very young children, and I think it can help people of all ages come to terms with losing a beloved family member – and teaches us that we can all have our special place where we imagine and see our sister, our brother – whoever is it that we have lost – as we remember them, separate from what we saw at the end of their lives.
It is being released in July, and can be bought at Kelly’s website here, and I think it will be a great resource for families, in schools, and in many settings where a child might be affected by cancer or losing a sibling. I hope it finds an audience.