Download a free booklet with reflection questions for children.
Mom and Dad in Heaven tells the moving story of a young girl struggling to understand her parents’ untimely deaths in an accident.
Mary has many questions and the pat answers she receives from her grandparents, teachers, friends aren’t enough. In the desire to make sense of her loss – and with the gentle, loving responses of those around her – Mary begins to address her grief. Over the course of these first few months of her bereavement, she also asks questions about faith, God, and heaven.
Originally published in Norway as Mor og far i himmelen (Mother and Father in Heaven), this new edition is beautifully illustrated by Øyvind Torseter. Written as diary entries, the book is set at a third-fifth grade reading level. Elementary school children who may be grappling with loss and grief will find Mary’s story accessible and comforting as they navigate their feelings and questions together.
Age range: 8 - 11 years old, Grade Level: 3rd grade - 5th grade
An Inside Look:
"Walgermo has achieved a small miracle of tact, insight, and gentle humor."
—John Wilson, First Things
"When Mary’s family circle is shattered by an accident which takes the lives of her parents, she is left with questions—raw and ragged questions which strain against the explanations given by well-meaning adults. In this honest and carefully crafted book, we travel with Mary through seasons both natural and liturgical as she wrestles with grief, wonders deeply, and find moments of solace and joy in snow, leaves, wind, hot chocolate, and in the company of loved ones who, even in their own brokenness, show her how the circle might become whole—or nearly whole—again."
—Laura Alary, author of Read Wonder Listen: Stories from the Bible for Young Readers and Breathe: A Child’s Guide to Ascension, Pentecost, and the Growing Time
"This is a quietly powerful book that takes on grief, faith, doubt, and healing in a way that truly honors children's emotions and intelligence. The evocative line drawings and cut paper illustrations by Øyvind Torseter add more subtle power to this book. The afterword and questions for discussion contribute yet another layer of meaning and value to this gem. Highly recommended!"
—Jennifer Grant, author of A Little Blue Bottle
“Mom and Dad in Heaven always keep the child’s perspective—and there is something liberating about the child’s way of relating to the world, grief and God . . . . The illustrations have a childish, simple and naive line, which fits well with the child’s perspective in the text. They contribute to Mom and Dad in Heaven being a beautiful, contrasting book about God, death, sorrow and loss, but equally important: about friendship, fellowship and comfort.”
—Hilde Dybvik, BARNEBOKKRITIKK.NO
“Since the language is so simple and easy, the text opens up well for conversation and reflection. In an impressive way and with few words, the author creates a rich atmosphere, with room for both Winnie the Pooh and existential pain.”
—May Grethe Lerum, VG (5/6)