A Stopwatch from Grampa

Loretta Garbutt
Carmen Mok

A child inherits a treasured stopwatch that belonged to a beloved grandparent in this touching story of loss that explores the stages of grief with sensitivity and wisdom. “When summer started, I got Grampa's stopwatch,” a small child says. “I don't want his stopwatch. I want him.” Grampa used to time everything. A race to the end of the street and back: 24 seconds. Eating bubblegum ice cream: 1 minute, 58 seconds. But now, Grampa's gone. “There are no more Grampa minutes, Grampa seconds,” the child says. “Time just stops.” As the seasons come and go, the stopwatch becomes a cherished symbol of remembrance, and the child uses it to carry on Grampa's favorite pastimes and traditions. Loretta Garbutt uses subtlety and sensitivity to explore the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) in this moving picture book story of loss. It features a gender-neutral main character (no first name or pronouns are given) making the story universally relatable. This is a perfect choice for fostering discussions with children about their emotions, particularly the feeling of loss. It also offers a poignant representation of an intergenerational relationship between a grandfather and grandchild. Carmen Mok's expressive and thoughtful illustrations employ a limited color palette to convey the character's emotional trajectory. There are curriculum applications here in social-emotional development as well as character education lessons in caring and resilience.

978-1-5253-0144-5 | Apr 7, 2020
List Price: USD $17.99, CAD $19.99
4-color 9 x 10 32 pages
Grades: Pre-K To 2 / Ages: 4 to 7
978-1-5253-0529-0 | Apr 7, 2020
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“An excellent and understated portrayal of grief from a child's perspective.”
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review, December 2019
“A good discussion starter, this poignant, accessible picture book explores grief, the comfort provided by the passage of time, and the way in which memories allow us to keep loved ones in our hearts forever.”
— School Library Journal, Starred Review, March 2020
“... a strong choice for parents, teachers, and librarians to read with young children who have experienced loss.”
— CM Magazine, June 2020
“... heart-tugging ...”
— Horn Book, June 2020
“This story about loss, grief, and healing is both appealing and accessible.”
— Cooperative Children`s Book Center, May 2021
2021 - CCBC Choices List, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner
2021 - Best Children's Books List, Bank Street College, Winner
2020 - Best Picture Books of 2020, Kirkus Reviews, Winner

Also Recommended