Story by Charlotte Agell | Pictures by Ana Ramirez González
Published in 2019 by Scholastic Press
“Elba has a big block. She’d been dragging it around for a long time.”
That’s how one of the best books I’ve ever read on befriending someone sad begins. The block represents Elba’s constant sadness and grief over the loss of her friend, Little Bird. The block goes with her everywhere. It’s heavy and burdensome. She soon encounters Norris, a positive and happy alligator, who becomes Elba’s companion and friend.
Norris doesn’t try to make all of the sadness go away. Norris doesn’t tell Elba to get over it. Norris doesn’t walk off in a huff because Elba is sad and doesn’t want to do the things Norris wants to do.
No…what Norris does is sit with Elba in her sadness. Norris helps her carry her big block. Norris asks great questions. And most importantly, Norris doesn’t run away, but returns to Elba day after day.
And in the end, Elba’s block shrinks and becomes much more manageable.
I just LOVE this book! It’s a great read for anyone wanting to help someone in their grief. Beautifully written with precious illustrations.
- Elba is SO sad. Have you ever felt so sad that it felt like you were dragging a big block around?
- What makes you feel better?
- Norris helps Elba with her block. His butterflies help carry it and sometimes he helps carry it, too. How can you help someone who is sad?
- How do you think God feels when we’re sad? The Bible tells us that God is close to us when we’re sad. He cares about our sadness very much. Some of the same things that make us sad make Him sad, too.
- Do you know someone who is sad? How about drawing a picture for them? Or write a note? Sometimes hearing from someone who loves you makes sadness feel smaller.
- Pray for the people in your life who are sad. Ask God to help them feel His love today.
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