Always Near

A Book About Grief

Children - Social Issues
34 Pages
Reviewed on 06/03/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stephanie Spruce is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in Red Bank, New Jersey. Stephanie has a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Georgian Court University. She has an undergraduate degree in Linguistics with a minor in Cognitive Science from Montclair State University. This is Stephanie’s first children’s book, titled Always Near, which is illustrated by her cousin Antonio Bevacqui. This book is for any child dealing with a death or loss. As a young child, Stephanie’s father passed away suddenly, and felt as though there were no books that were relatable to what she was dealing with at the time. Working in the education field, Stephanie felt it was important for children to have a book that they can lean on and be comforted by. In addition to grief, Stephanie has plans on writing other children’s books that focus on other social emotional topics. Stephanie resides in Lincroft, New Jersey with her husband Rob, son Robby, and rescue dog Dexter.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite

The death of a loved one is hard to deal with and it's especially difficult for a child losing a parent. Depending upon the age of the child at the time of loss, they may or may not be able to articulate their emotions, as they may feel lost, betrayed, or alone. Based upon her personal experience in losing her dad at a young age, Stephanie Spruce created Always Near: A Book About Grief that will assist children through their process of grieving. The beautiful illustrations by Antonio Bevacqui help to paint the picture of this story as seen through the eyes of the little girl, Marie May. This book reflects her journey of healing, memories, and feeling safe. She's able to recognize the signs all around her from seeing a ladybug to having a red bird flying close to her face that lets her know that her dad is still with her and is always watching over her.

Always Near by Stephanie Spruce is personal for me because I lost my dad in 2019 and I was able to truly relate to the special times and signs of Marie May. It's funny how Stephanie mentioned the significance of Marie May seeing a red bird because during my journey I discovered that a red bird reflects courage and is God's way of letting us know that our loved ones are thinking of us. In purchasing this book, your child will have a great companion to help them to navigate their lives during their time of grief and loss. Our children need to understand that during these times they are not alone. Highly recommended.