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Orca SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) HONOR through December 2022

Sitting Shiva
By (author): Erin Silver Illustrated by: Michelle Theodore
Erin Silver ,

Illustrated by :

Michelle Theodore


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Picture book, Sewn, Laminated cover
Hardcover , Picture book, Sewn, Laminated cover


Juvenile: Age (years) 3 - 5, Grade (CAN) P - K, Grade (US) P - K, Reading age 3 - 5
May 17, 2022
Print Run: 5000
$21.95 CAD


10.75in x 8.75 x 0.38 in | 440 gr

Page Count:

32 pages


16 Colour illustrations
FSC certified – mixed sources C016245
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement
Children’s / Teenage fiction: Family and home stories|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Families and family members|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Death and bereavement|Interest age: from c 3 years|Relating to Jewish people and groups
North America
  • Short Description
In this gorgeously illustrated, deeply moving picture book, a young girl learns about the practice of sitting shiva after her mother dies.
This is not the time to be alone.

A little girl grieves the loss of her mother, but she can’t grieve alone.

When her friends and family arrive at her house to sit shiva, laden with cakes and stories, she refuses to come downstairs. But the laughter and memories gradually bring her into the fold, where she is comforted by her community. By the end of the book, she feels stronger and more nourished, and she understands the beautiful tradition. Then, when sees her father sitting alone, she is able to comfort him in his time of need. Sitting Shiva is a beautiful, heartfelt story about grief and loss, but also about comfort and community. It shows that no matter what religion you practice, we are all more similar than we are different.

A note from the author explains the ritual of sitting shiva, a seven-day period of mourning for the death of a family member observed in Jewish homes.

Key Selling Points

  • A heartwarming story that explains an important Jewish custom in a child-appropriate way.
  • Centers around the beauty of an age-old tradition that shows how much more alike we are than different as we seek to comfort and nourish one another in times of need.
  • A story that can help any child, not just Jewish children, cope with loss.
  • The author is Jewish and this story is inspired by the experience of a child close to her heart.
  • Includes a note from the author explaining the practice of sitting shiva and how other cultures honor loss.

Erin Silver is a children’s author and freelance writer whose work has appeared in everything from Good Housekeeping to the Washington Post. She is the author of numerous books for children, including Rush Hour: Navigating Our Global Traffic Jam in the Orca Footprints line, as well as What Kids Did: Stories of Kindness and Invention in the Time of COVID-19 and Proud to Play: Canadian LGBTQ+ Athletes Who Made History. Erin holds a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, a postgraduate journalism degree from Toronto Metropolitan University and a bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto.

Michelle Theodore was born and raised in Edmonton. She loves making intelligent and captivating illustrations that evoke a deep emotional connection. Her recent work focuses on exploring the intangible feelings of childhood memory and her strong obsession with the pull of the ocean.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
  • Blog and social media promotion
  • Outreach in Orca newsletters

“Shows great empathy for a child’s feelings when coping with loss. That Silver does this task in a unique and emotional way that manages to convey the traditions associated with the practice of sitting Shiva is admirable. Highly Recommended.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“With its lovely, warm illustrations and perfectly pitched storyline, provides an accessible introduction to shiva for readers of all ages…A sensitive, powerful treatment of a child’s grief.” - Kirkus Reviews

“A thoughtful and gentle introduction to shiva, grief, and mourning to even the littlest of readers.” - Association of Jewish Libraries

“This poignant story about mourning and finding comfort in community is universally relatable.” - Booklist

“Explains the Jew­ish mourn­ing peri­od in a gen­tle, easy-to-under­stand, car­ing man­ner…Sim­ple and acces­si­ble...Care­ful­ly phrased, evoca­tive­ly illus­trat­ed, and empha­sizes time spent with fam­i­ly and friends.” - Jewish Book Council

“The comforting text and the warm images will help young readers begin to understand what shiva means in Jewish families.” - Sal's Fiction Addiction

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