BOSTON — Working with children for 25 years, pediatric occupational therapist-turned children’s author Tracy Harding has seen firsthand how difficult grief and loss can be for students, families and friends. Inspired by her passion for helping kids, Harding’s new book, Anna’s Big Wish, aims to help children overcome their concerns following the death of a family member or friend.
Saddened by the recent passing of her beloved grandmother, Nana, six-year-old Anna makes some unique requests during her bedtime routine with her father one night. First, she wishes for wings. Next, she wishes her dad had big wings. Finally, she makes her biggest request: to fly to heaven and visit Nana.
Instead, Anna’s father takes her on a journey filled with happy memories of her time with Nana, from celebrating the Fourth of July together to baking cookies and playing charades. But when Anna falls asleep, something magical happens, and Anna arrives right where she wanted.
“Anna’s Big Wish is about the importance of faith in seeing us through when it’s time to say goodbye,” said Harding. “Inspired by my own mother, who was the most amazing woman in the world, I wanted this book to give children a way to feel comforted that their loved ones who pass on are at peace in heaven or wherever that place may be within your belief system.”
Children get the chance to travel with Anna as she says goodbye to her grandmother in heaven – this time, on her own terms. After Anna tells Nana how much she loves and misses her, Nana shares something equally reassuring with Anna – that she is truly happy in her new home.
With easy-to-understand and sensitive dialogue, Anna’s Big Wish is a tender story in a beautifully illustrated book with drawings by Anna Mosca.
Anna’s Big Wish can be purchased online through http://www.annasbigwish.com, SDP Publishing, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR— Tracy Harding is a pediatric occupational therapist and has been working in a public school system outside the Boston area for the past 25 years. Working with children is her first love, and her book was inspired by that passion, and by her abiding love for her mother Joanne A. Harding. This is her debut children’s illustrated book. Harding would like to encourage readers to go to her website at annasbigwish.com to learn more about grief and loss counseling for children.