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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Adventures of Flapjack: Saying Goodbye is a children's concept picture book written by Dan Cohen and illustrated by Lisa Norman. Flapjack is a dog who is quite happy living with his human mom and dad. He didn't always live there, however, because a ranger found him in the forest as a puppy. He had a special friend while he lived in the forest, a duck named Fowler. After he left the forest, Fowler would come to visit Flapjack in town where he lived with his family. Fowler used to visit with the changing of the seasons, but it had been five seasons since Flapjack saw his friend, and he wondered why. Finally, he saw a duck circling and then landing in his pond. Flapjack got very excited and was sure that the duck was his friend, but, no, it was Fowler's son who had sad news for the dog. Fowler was not at all well, and he would not be getting better. Flapjack wanted to see his friend before he died, and he kept on insisting until Fowler's son agreed, and together they traveled back to the forest.
Dan Cohen's children's concept picture book, The Adventures of Flapjack: Saying Goodbye, is a well-written and gentle tale about loss and grief. Flapjack's sadness and initial inability to process the news that his friend is dying echoes the universal sentiment of the bereaved, no matter how strong one's faith in an afterlife or what stage of life one is in. Saying Goodbye is probably the hardest and most mysterious aspect of life to comprehend, especially for a child, and I believe that Cohen's sensitive coverage of the subject may help children cope with the loss and grieving process that hits all of us so hard. This eloquent and moving story is accompanied by Lisa Norman's marvelous artwork that follows Flapjack on his final visit to Fowler. Reading The Adventures of Flapjack: Saying Goodbye is a sad, yet uplifting experience. It's most highly recommended.