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The beginning of the Annie series, Ocho Loved Flowers is a children's picturebook about coping with the loss of a pet. Told from the perspective of young Annie, who loves her feline friend Ocho more than anything, Ocho Loved Flowers follows Annie and Ocho when Ocho gets very sick and the veterinarian tells Annie they have only one more month left to be together. Annie learns how to give Ocho medicine, share the time they have, and say goodbye without words. When Ocho passes on, Annie is sad for a long time and misses her best friend, but evenutally she feels sufficiently better to go to the store and get flowers - one set for her, one set in memory of Ocho. Simple color illustrations and discussion questions for young children (such as "Taking care of a cat or dog is a big respoonsibility. What are some of the things you have to do to take care of a pet?") round out this gentle and thoughtful picturebook. Highly recommended.

-- The Midwest Book Review
Flowers
"Ocho Loved Flowers is a wonderful tale of friendship and caring between a child and her cat. Love and loss are life lessons for us all and Annie demonstrates these qualities in a beautiful way with her beloved cat, Ocho. This book is written and illustrated in a tender way for children and adults alike.”

-- Anne Donovan, Coach
U.S.A. Women's Olympic Basketball Team
Gold Medal Winner - Beijing 2008

Flowers

In Ocho Loved Flowers, the first of The Annie Series, young Annie learns that her best friend-her mischievous cat, Ocho-suffers from a terminal illness and is going to die soon. This compassionate book shows our main character learning to help with a new level of pet care at the same time that she learns a new level of love. Endorsed by the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, Ocho Loved Flowers has found some of its first fans among the hospice care crowd. Always on the lookout for the compassionate books about death and dying, these brave folks have surely noticed that very few children's authors have dared to tackle the subjects of grief and loss.
Although it's a difficult story to tell, Anne Fontaine does so with grace and humor. Teachers, parents, and compassionate veterinarians will welcome the page of helpful discussion questions at the back of the book.

Written for ages 4-7, Ocho Loved Flowers doesn't avoid showing her young readers the painful reality of losing a beloved furry friend. Yet it poetic language adds an especially tender offering to the small group of well-written, compassionate books about death and dying. Lively, bright illustrations by Obadinah (see www.Obadinah.com) help to balance as well as inform the serious fubject matter. The book ends with a beautiful two-page illustration that shows us Annie's grief doesn't keep her from playing with friends and enjoying life. Her dear cat Ocho is gone but not forgotten.

-- Nummy Books

Flowers

"The book so lovingly addresses both the anticipatory grief period and bereavment. The pictures are fresh and welcoming. They capture the reality that hope and love can walk amidst the confusing and overwhelming feelings that can be part of the grief experience."

-- Maureen Horgan, LICSW
Children's Grief Counselor

Flowers

Ocho Loved Flowers is an inspiring and affirming message to girls everywhere to face the challenges of life with honesty and intention. Annie learns she can survive the loss of beloved Ocho and finds ways to remember and honor him, making this a story about courage, respect and resilience.”

––Julie Edsforth
Co-Founder, Powerful Voices

Flowers

"Ocho Loved Flowers touches upon the special bond between humans and their animal family members and the very personal ways we can cope with pet loss. I recommend this lovely book to anyone, young or old, who loves animals."

––Betsy Saul
Founder, Petfinder.com
Senior Vice President, Animal Planet

Flowers

"Ocho Loved Flowers compassionately illustrates the emotional reality of terminal illness and captures the heart of hospice philosophy through the loving eyes of a child."

––Kathy Sandler
Executive Director & Co-founder
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation

Flowers

Ocho Loved Flowers beautifully captures the emotion and complex issues of pet loss and grief. In my 20-plus years working in the field of animal welfare, I know there is a great need for more books written about children dealing with the death of a cherished family pet. Ocho Loved Flowers is truly a great resource for healing; it respectfully shows readers––young and old alike––how they can experience the dying and grieving process in a humane and healthy way. Thank you to Anne and Ocho for this touching story that most pet owners can relate to!"

––Nancy B. McKenney, MNPL, CAWA
Animal Welfare Executive

Flowers

"A great read for children of all ages who are facing the loss of a furry family member. Ocho Loved Flowers handles a sensitive issue with kindness and compassion for the pet and the child."

––Brenda Barnette
CEO, The Humane Society for Seattle/King County

Flowers

"I love the book. It’s beautiful, wise, important and dear."

––Jacqui Banaszynski
Winner, 1988 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing
Faculty, Missouri School of Journalism and The Poynter Institute

Flowers

“A great tool for parents seeking to support a child in understanding loss or illness. Anne Fontaine’s book will help adults as well as children through some tough issues surrounding death. Parents and other adults will find in Ocho Loved Flowers a great example of discussing death openly, and of supporting children through the pain they naturally feel with the loss of a pet. As a veterinarian, though, my favorite aspect of the book is the support that the family gives to their cat, Ocho. They discover how to care for him and keep him comfortable, supporting Ocho with kindness as well as medical help throughout his terminal illness.”

––Deborah Tegarden, DVM
Elliott Bay Animal Hospital, Seattle WA

Flowers

"A heartwarming story of the experiences of love, loss and grief, and the solace that radiates from fond memory."

––Peggy J. Williamson, DVM

Flowers

"I just spent a delightful afternoon with Annie...Ocho Loved Flowers is right on target for anyone of any age who ever had a pet, and is especially appropriate for the many of us who still ache with the memory of losing one."

-- Shirley Climo
Author, The Cinderella Series
and 25 children's books

Flowers

"This beautifully illustrated, sweet book tells the story of young Annie and her beloved cat, Ocho, who is dying. One of the Hospice counselors mentioned that this is first book she knows of that addresses anticipatory grief of a pet. The respectful text can serve as a starting point for more generalized discussions of illness, death and grief".

-- Queen Anne Books
Seattle, WA

Flowers

"It's lovely! Kids will get a gentle understanding of moving on when the time has come."

-- Terri O'Heir
Pet Owner

Flowers

"Girl and mom attentively care for Ocho, grieve when he dies and learn to cherish his memory."

-- Publishers Weekly

Flowers

"I loved reading your book, Ocho Loved Flowers. Your book helped me learn what to do when my dog or cat get sick. I am excited to read your next book".

-- Taryn Rae
Age 7

Flowers

"My daughter cried at the line, 'you can say goodbye without words.' Having lost her baby was so difficult. She felt your book, Ocho Loved Flowers spoke to her heart in many ways."

— Donna

 

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        6/3/10