Books & Literature

Book Review: The Present Box, by Michelle Jewels-Parsons and Ellie Rose Hanham

A colourful picture book to help guide our younger loved ones through the pain of loss when someone dies, written by an End of Life Companion.

This is a good book to help your young family members navigate through the grief of loss.

Michelle Jewels-Parsons is an End of Life Companion, celebrant and speaker, and has obviously seen a need in her work to have a text that helps children deal with the death of a loved one.

Jewels-Parsons uses gentle language to explain what happens before and during a funeral and allows the reader to come to terms with their loss. It follows a young child as they are told about what has happened, how they will say goodbye and what they will see. She uses new words to describe the funeral. It is the Goodbye Day.

The Present Box is the word used for the coffin. She uses this phrase because the person who has passed away was a gift to be loved. Funerals can be a time of great sadness but also great love as we remember those who have left us. This story explains step-by-step the ways we can remember them, from the decorating of the Present Box, to the words we speak and the pictures of them on display in some form or another.

The illustrations have been drawn by the niece of Jewels-Parsons, Ellie Rose Hanham, and they are the typical pictures drawn by a young child. Each picture is colourful and adds to the text. They are especially poignant when we realise the book is actually about the passing of Ellie’s own sister. It is good to know she had such wonderful support from family members at this sad time in her young life.

This book will be an excellent addition to a funeral home, hospital or another place where grieving families gather. If you have recently lost a loved one, this is a good book to help your young family members navigate through this sad time in their lives.

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Self-published
Released: 2019
RRP: $19.95

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