Title: Saturdays Are for Stella
Author: Candy Wellins
Illustrator: Charlie Eve Ryan
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Copyright date: August, 2020
Age range: preschool-3rd grade
This seemingly simple book about a boy named George who visits his Grandma Stella each Saturday is packed with teachable moments. George and Stella do many fun things together, both the simple (making popcorn) to the more special (like trips to museums). It is clear that both savor the traditions that Saturdays together bring.
However, one Saturday, George awakens to find his parents crying and his trip to Grandma Stella’s canceled. Stella has died.
While the author acknowledges the family’s sadness and George’s struggle to think of Saturdays in a positive way again, the story shifts and the reader understands that George’s mother is pregnant.
When the baby arrives, George turns his grief into love and Saturdays are for Stella, once again.
This would be a fantastic book to use to discuss the circle of life. It’s also helpful for children to see that sometimes loss comes very unexpectedly (Grandma appeared to be in fine health). George is shown as someone allowed to grieve, but also someone who can still be happy. I love that the parents are both shown crying, not just the mother. It’s impossible not to find joy in the relationships George has with both Stellas.
This book appeared on many “Best of 2020” lists and we definitely agree, Saturdays Are for Stella is a wonderful addition to any shelf.