Beneath by Cori Doerrfeld

Beneath by Cori Doerrfeld

If a little person in your life has lost someone special to them, this book will open up conversations about grief. Doerrfeld creatively uses nature as an analogy for emotions that are generally invisible…. beneath the surface, there are so many things happening that we cannot SEE…. which is exactly how it feels to be human. There is so much inside of us that we think no one else will understand. 

When Finn’s grandpa suggests a walk to help his grandson deal with his feelings, he points out that beneath the trees, there are roots; beneath the water, there are fish swimming around… inviting conversations about how we too hide things inside of us. Drawing parallels to nature is a comfortable way to learn more about complicated emotions.

The brilliance is in showing that both Finn and his grandfather have broken hearts. The reader will infer that the quilt Finn has draped over his head is likely from his grandmother- a source of comfort for him as he navigates this loss.  The ending brought tears to my eyes because you see the quilt move from Finn’s head to the shoulders of his grandpa- and both of them are shown with hearts that are whole again. 

As an adult, I find picture books speak to ALL of us in a way that is so pure. The text may be simple- but the depth of the words can unlock something inside of you. And OF COURSE this story resonated with me because of the warmth and comfort quilts provide their owners. Our memories & stories being passed down to the younger generation. Love.

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