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Book Details:

Book Title:  Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk
CategoryMiddle-Grade Non-Fiction (8 to 12) ,  49 pages
Genre: Self-Help
PublisherGolden Harvest Publishers
Release date:   August 2019
Content Rating:  This non-fiction, self-help book is rated G. Appropriate for all audiences.
Book Description:

This gentle and heartwarming story captures the love between a boy and his dog, and the sadness that follows after his cherished dog passes away. Written in the form of a letter from the dog to the boy, the letter shares relatable, real life examples of how the boy (and therefore anybody who has lost a dear pet) may be feeling and suggestions on what he can do to help himself get through this most difficult time. The letter also touches on simple acts of kindness that can follow the reader throughout his or her lifetime. The message in this story is applicable to young and old, girl or boy, and to any family pet that has stolen your heart. Story starters, drawing pages, and a place to add pictures of your own beloved pet are also included in the back of the book.
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Grieving Pet Loss During the Pandemic 

These are tough times for everyone. All of us are experiencing higher degrees of stress and worry; everyone is facing the realities of the pandemic. One of the issues of the pandemic is that plenty of people are now working from home, which is both a blessing and a curse. Many people have the pleasure of enjoying more time and consistency with their pets while working from home. We’ve all enjoyed pictures of cats sitting on a keyboard or dogs sleeping peacefully next to the makeshift workstation in the living room or at the kitchen table.

uring this difficult time, our pets have played a huge role.  They are the ones who look at us with love and affection regardless of the challenges we are facing.  They are the stable, loving force that keeps us grounded in our routines of feeding and walking them when everything else feels discombobulated.
For those who live alone, the pandemic has strengthened the bond between pets and their “parents,” as their pets are their only source of connection while isolated from others. However, this circumstance also intensifies the loss people feel when their cherished pet passes.

The loss of a pet can be dramatic and significant in any circumstance, but for those living alone during the pandemic, it is extreme.  One of the coping strategies that used to be standard was to go to work and ‘lose yourself’ in your work. Not only does going to work provide a much-needed distraction from the grief, it also generally provides some social interaction so people can express and share their grief. 
Now, people are left home alone, and they are often experiencing tremendous loneliness on top of their grief.

There are a few strategies that might help. 
Go outside.  Research supports what many of us already know, that being in nature is healing.  Some people benefit from buying a stuffed animal that they can hold and even pet to relieve the angst.  Many people feel relief by writing a letter or two to their departed pet, sharing their love and loneliness. 
It is okay to leave your beloved pet’s bowl and toys out where they’ve always been if it brings you comfort; just the presence of their things can offer a small degree of relief.  One thing is certain – there are no rules for grieving. Especially during these difficult times, each person must do whatever brings them any degree of peace.

Told in easily understood and relatable language, this book is a love letter of reassurance from a dear friend. It was written to help children deal with their feelings, but I believe that anyone who has lost a special friend can find comfort from the words and dream-like images.
The muted colors and soft edges on each page encourage the reader or listener to relax.
There is even a special surprise hidden within the images to find upon repeated enjoyment.
I give it 5 of 5 stars

Meet the Author:

Leigh Ann Gerk MA, LPC has been in the counseling field for over eleven years. She is certified in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning and the founder and owner of Mourning to Light Pet Loss providing individual and family counseling for anyone grieving the loss of a pet. She currently offers 3 free pet loss support groups in Northern Colorado and is excited to branch out and offer more. Having grown up on a farm, Leigh Ann's childhood playmates included baby calves, horses, bunnies, dogs, and 32 cats that set up house in a boxcar that also served as her playhouse. This upbringing introduced her, at a very young age, to the human-animal bond and instilled in her a deep understanding of, and love for, this extraordinary relationship. Leigh Ann and her husband, Andy, live in Loveland, Colorado, and are the proud parents of identical twin daughters, Heather and Heidi. Their family is made complete by their first grandchild and their cherished therapy dog, Gracie. Visit Leigh Ann online at

connect with the author:  website facebook goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Jan 18 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Book World Reviews – book review / author interview
Jan 19 - Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Jan 20 - Carpinello's Writing Pages - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post/ giveaway
Jan 22 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – I'd Rather Be At The Beach – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 26 - The Momma Spot - book review
Jan 27 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Jan 27  - Reading Authors Networkbook review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 29 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 1 –Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 1 - Welcome To MLM Opinion’s Reviews  - book review
Feb 2 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2 - Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 3 - Pick a Good Book - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 – Pawesome Wisdom – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 4 - I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 4 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 5 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 5 - The Pen and Muse Book Reviews  - book review / giveaway
Feb 5 - Because I said so and other adventures in Parentingbook review / giveaway

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  1. Dear Laura,
    Thank you so much for your lovely review. I especially loved how you described Dear Brave Friend as "a love letter of reassurance from a dear friend."


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