Full Disclosure: Although this book was not given to me for promotional purposes, it was, nevertheless, given to me by the author as part of an interview I did for the website www.thegeekparent.com. This does not in any way, shape, or form influence the content you are about to read. I mean, it's a book, not a diamond necklace.
Author Rebecca Perlman Coniglio has made it the norm in her series of books entitled, "Lily's Little Life Lessons," to approach topics that are sometimes difficult to talk about. Thus far, she has discussed divorce, being an only child, and she even touched, briefly, on infertility. With her latest Lily book, "Lily's Laces," she tackles the extremely complex, sometimes uncomfortable, and as far as I know, never-before-discussed in a children's book topic of organ donation.
Preschooler Lily is mesmerized when she sees that a race is being run right outside her house. She wants to join right in, but her parents explain that she must wait until she's a little older and they find out what the race is all about. What ensues is a lesson, simplified to a kindergartener's level, in what organ donation is all about.
The race is being run on behalf of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation which assists with "saving and enhancing lives through the miracle of organ and tissue donation." Lily discovers that even when people "go to heaven" they can share parts of their bodies, called organs, to help those who are still alive. Lily also meets a group of friends who are running the race to honor their late friend, Maddie, who was an organ donor and one special boy, named Michael, who now lives thanks to Maddie's generosity.
This is a warm book, full of amazing, non-scarey illustrations by Jen Mundy. Be forewarned, however, that in my opinion, this is not a book for children to read alone. While my 8-year old and I were reading it last night, she had all kinds of questions which should be addressed immediately with an adult (i.e. "why do people die," "how do they get the organs out," "where is heaven," etc.). Once we got past those queries, Diva embraced the book's incredible message that organ donation is "a circle of giving, hope, love, and life."
All proceeds from the sale of "Lily's Laces" benefit the NJ Sharing Network Foundation (www.NJSharingNetworkFoundation.org) which funded the publication of this book.
Whether your life has been touched by organ donation or not, I urge you to read "Lily's Laces." The message about organ donation is, justifiably, all over the media and your child is bound to come across this topic sooner or later. If you're a parent like me, who tends to trip over difficult topics when caught on the fly, you'll appreciate Coniglio's sensitive approach to this emotional and complicated topic.
As always, thank you for reading! Please come back in a day or so when I'll review some ways we can all get ready for Spring. And don't forget that my giveaway ends Saturday - GOOD LUCK!