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Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers' Favorite
Jeremy is an eight-year-old boy who loves his parents, Grandpa Eugene, and school. One day while in school, Jeremy was told the tragic news that his parents, Jim and Molly, had passed away after they were involved in a car accident. Jeremy is devastated, but carries on for his grandfather's sake. Grandpa Eugene becomes ill and Jeremy has no time for friends or other fun things in life because he has to take care of his grandpa. Jeremy was sad, frustrated, and lonely when Christmas time came around and his grandpa was still ill. How can Jeremy get through this difficult time without his mother and father, and his grandfather being sick, and to top it off ... no Christmas presents this year! Will this Christmas be a sad and lonely one?
Sami The Magic Bear: The Best Christmas Present Ever! by Murielle Bourdon is book one in the Sami The Magic Bear series, offering young readers an introduction to the concept of grieving, loneliness, a variety of emotions, as well as a bit of magic. It is often very hard for anyone to lose a parent, let alone a child as young as eight. The author creatively portrays what a boy that age might be feeling, and the actions they might take within the main character, Jeremy. Christmas is hard enough for a young person to handle without their parents, and is even harder if a loved one is sick. Within the story, the author conveys a young child's grief and emotion as he realizes this Christmas isn't going to be a happy one without his parents, and his grandfather being sick.
When all seems lost, Jeremy receives a surprise from his parents; Sami the Magic Bear. Sami is a wonderful present, someone for Jeremy to love and confide in. Children often don't know how to express themselves to adults when in a situation that involves a deep emotion. Having a best friend, toy, pet, or in this case a stuffed animal friend to talk to can make it easier. Sami The Magic Bear: The Best Christmas Present Ever! is uniquely created to help young readers cope with loss and the grief that comes with it. Children, parents, and teachers alike can use this book as a useful guide during a similar situation they themselves are going through, or someone they know.