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Every year on All Soul's Day, Mara and her grandparents visit homes in their neighborhood to bring comfort and a song to those mourning the death of a loved one. But this year, Mara and Nene have lost Popi. As Nene leads Mara through their yearly ritual, Mara compares her own grief to that of each neighbor they visit. Then she catches sight of the frozen tears on Nene's face.

Setting aside the bitterness icing her heart to help her beloved grandmother, Mara rekindles Popi's song and brings her community together to honor him.

Popi's All Souls Song is a poignant, timeless story with luminous art, drawing readers into the realization that no person's loss or grief is bigger or more important than anyone else's. And when we bring comfort to others, we experience comfort ourselves.

Backmatter includes an author's note with a brief history of the All Soul's Day holiday and traditions associated with the day.


School Library Journal: K-Gr 2–In this touching story, a young girl learns that she will be comforted by helping others. Losing a loved one is difficult. Many Christians commemorate those who have passed on All Souls Day, which falls on November 2. That is what Mara and her grandparents Popi and NeNe do. On that day, they walk from house to house and sing to neighbors who have lost loved ones. But this year is different because Mara’s Popi passed away. It’s difficult for Mara to comprehend, but her grandmother tells her Popi would want them to do this. They sing to neighbors who have lost people or pets. As Mara sees the tears and pain on NeNe’s face, she understands how much her grandmother misses her husband and realizes that she can help her grandmother make it through this tough day. The illustrations start the story with a cold feeling, but by the end, they are a bit warmer and lighter. 


VERDICT A good book to have on hand in the library or classroom.–Barbara Spiri

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