Friday, March 26, 2010

MamaBuzz Book Review: Where Do We Go? by James Weinsier

Where Do We Go?

This MamaBuzz review is something for the young children who need some help understanding, Where Do We Go? by James F. Weinsier.

The death of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult to understand and cope with; imagine how much more difficult it is for a child! Where Do We Go? delicately explores the theme of death in a child-friendly fashion with reassuring, thought-provoking text and cheerful illustrations. With compassion and sensitivity, James F. Weinsier addresses the age-old, complex question: Where do we go when we die?

James F. Weinsier's child-friendly, non-secular exploration of death compatibly blends with any religious, spiritual or nondenominational framework, opening a pathway for parents, caregivers and other adults to approach the subject of death within any given belief system, while giving children the comfort they desperately need. Where Do We Go? helps them find the answers to the mystery of death within their own hearts.

Where Do We Go?

Born in New York City in 1945, James Weinsier was raised on Long Island. He received an Associates Degree in Applied Sciences from Nassau Community College in 1964, followed by service in the U. S. Navy. Upon completing his tour of duty, he resumed his education at the University of Miami, graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He is now retired and lives with his wife, in Fernandina Beach, FL.

Weinsier first grappled with writing in 1996, when in anticipation of his daughter's 21st birthday, he decided to give her something unique and straight from his heart. The result was a 100-page journal of special memories he and his daughter shared written in poetic verse. The manuscript was so well-received by his daughter that he published a 70-page book of thoughts for his father, Here…and Afterthoughts, and gave it to him for his 90th birthday. James continued to write, and three years after his first published work was released More…Thoughts was completed. This book contains 199 pages of sentiments commonly shared between parents and their children. James presented it to his father on his 93rd birthday-shortly before his passing.

In 2006, James experienced the devastating losses of three family members: his father, a son and grandson, Isaac Randolph, who died in a neonatal infant care unit from complications of necrotizing enterocolitis (an intestinal disorder) 10 days after his premature birth. In response to the pertinent questions from his other young grandchildren about what happens to us after we die, James wrote a children's book, Where Do We Go?, which was published in 2008.

"Wondrous" events took place a couple of weeks after the book's publication, which was two years after Isaac's death. On the exact month and day of Isaac's death and only a few minutes from the exact time of his death on that date, Weinsier's daughter gave birth to her second child, James Walter. Baby James was premature and followed his brother's path into the NIC Unit. Fortunately, his issues were not catastrophic, and on his 10th day of life, James W. was strong enough to go to his family's home in Kansas; while on the 10th day after Isaac's birth, he had passed away. Both boys went "home" on the 10th day...

My Review:

My copy arrived just before I left to get my children from school. We have a wait time between the two schools so it was a great time to sit and read this to my 6 year old. Grandma S. passed away 3 years ago, and sometimes she still does not fully understand where she is. This book was great in providing her a fun way to sort of understand what Grandma could be doing up there as well as our kitty. The story line kept her enthralled and she enjoyed the illustrations that went along with the book. I asked her to pick part of the story she liked most and she choose the pets page. Even though right now, she still may not fully understand about the afterlife, she can think about these questions and have wonderful thoughts.

The illustrations are wonderful in this book, and have so much detail. It sure kept my 2 little ones looking at the page before I was reading to read the next. I would recommend this book to anyone with young children who need a joyful way of understanding death, something more upbeat and perhaps to help them understand and give comfort about where loved ones are and what they might be doing up there. This is not a religious book, but refers life after death in a subtle way.

For a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of this book visit mamabuzz, ends 4/12!


For more information click here.

Illustrated by Cliff Beaman
Publisher: Wondrous Publications L.L.C.
Fernandina Beach, Florida
Price: $12.95 U.S.
Softbound / Nonfiction
Size: 9.3" by 9.01" / 44 pages
ISBN: 978-0-61523-805-0
Pub Date: 2008

I wrote this review for "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" about Where Do We Go?. This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by James F. Weinsier for this review. All opinions for this review are that of myself & family.

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