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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Our special pets leave a mark on our hearts. We love them dearly when they’re with us, but when they pass to the other side, we’re very sad. Where do they go? Have you wondered? Are you worried? What if you found a special place where all your beloved pets went after they passed away? What if you could visit this place whenever you wanted, to reassure yourself that your pets are well cared for? To ensure they haven’t forgotten you? That’s what Nate and Claire discover in an old abandoned barn: a pet sanctuary. An oasis tended with love and care by someone they thought was mean and spiteful but really was just a lonely old man.
A hike in the woods at winter’s end becomes an enchanted look at what lies beyond for two siblings, Nate and Claire. Catherine Green’s picture book story, The Barn Light: A Questful Tale, is a tender look at fantastical possibilities to explain to young children what happens to their beloved pets when they die. The story is written in simple language to appeal to an early reader and the vibrant illustrations are a bonus in helping move the story along. The author has woven an enchanting tale that reminds one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s popular children’s story, The Secret Garden. You just never know what magic and beauty you might unveil in a special garden or even in an old abandoned barn. First impressions can be deceiving as the siblings discover when they walk into the old barn and find a paradise of animals who have passed over and a man they believed to be scary greets them with kindness and compassion. A wonderful ‘questful’ story to warm the hearts.