"Love, love, love this book! Grab some Kleenex...as this will make you cry. Having 3 young kids who lost their papa last year to a horrific battle with cancer-this book really hit home. The writing style paints a very realistic picture and story that so many will be able to relate to. After watching my own children grieve and process their own pain from loss, it’s nice to see that there’s a book out there that they can connect with, making them feel seen, and making their experience feel somewhat normal, as hard as it is."
- Leah W., Washington
"Danica Thurber has written a comforting, inviting book that will help children gain a sense of control over a hard, scary, painful situation – the illness and death of a loved one. Beautifully illustrated, “The Gift of Encouragement” tells the story of how Lulu learns to encourage her dying grandmother and later, her mom and grandfather.
Although written for children, adults will also be inspired by the book’s simple message about how to support and show your love for someone who’s ill or dying. Because Lulu continues to visit her beloved grandmother up until her death, young readers will learn it’s okay to spend time with someone they love, even if she’s losing her hair, too tired to speak or can’t open her eyes."
- Margo Fowkes, Salt Water: Find Your Safe Harbor Grief Resources
"As a Certified Child Life Specialist, I support children coping with loss. I found this book to be inspirational for families. Children who have experienced grief can relate to the story and feel validated. I love the theme of encouragement, the importance of sharing emotions, and continuing to hold the legacy of a loved one after they die."
- Shani Thornton, CCLS, Child Life Mommy
"Mr. Rogers said that whatever is mentionable is manageable, and I believe author Danica Thurber understands this. Based on her own experiences and using her wonderful talents at art and storytelling, GIFT OF ENCOURAGEMENT is an important book for a child navigating grief and its complicated layers.
Through the pictures and measured pace of the story, these feelings become mentionable and manageable for Lulu. I would definitely purchase this book for another child going through the ordeal of losing someone they loved. It is also worth mentioning that the author includes a diversity of characters with many ages and races represented. It truly takes a village. "
- Kendra Stanton Lee, author