Too Far Away to Touch (1995), thoughtfully written by Lesléa Newman and movingly illustrated by Catherine Stock, follows a young girl as she processes her beloved uncle’s AIDS-related illness.
The child, Zoe, loves her uncle, Leonard, who takes her on adventures in New York City when he visits her. On one visit Zoe plans to tease him by pretending she’s found his lost marbles in his thick head of hair. Things don’t go quite as planned because he’s wearing a beret when he arrives, so Zoe saves the trick for later. Continue reading
A Name on the Quilt (1999), published by Antheneum Books, was written by Jeannine Atkins and illustrated by Tad Hills. Simple, but warm illustrations face evocative text that describes the family and friends of Ron, a man who passed away from AIDS complications, sewing a quilt to memorialize him. Continue reading
Jen Wojtowicz’s thin square-shaped comic Bunny Girl feels like home and reads like a broken heart doing the hard work of healing. On the cover, a sweet little bunny with brown fur holds a red balloon as a single tear drops from her eye. The dedication on the inside of the cover reads: “For My Husband and Our Children.” The story that unfolds is deeply personal and its creation was clearly a labor of love. A note on the inside back cover explains that the comic is “about love transcending death and our continued relationship with those we love who are in spirit.” Bunny Girl explores grief from a child’s perspective, that of Wojtowicz’s eldest daughter who lost her little sister, and it does this work beautifully.