Children are naturally curious. Sometimes they have BIG questions. Map of Memory Lane invites even the youngest of readers to explore the inevitability of loss in a gentle, affirming way. This heartwarming story celebrates the lasting connections and meaningful moments we cherish.
“Will you live forever?” Lee asked, tracing a fingertip over the lines on Nana’s familiar face…
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MAP OF MEMORY LANE, a book made possible in part by the generosity of our Title Sponsor, Harish Nim!
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Advance Praise and Reviews:
“MAP OF MEMORY LANE is not only a beautiful story of the love between a child and grandparent, but a gentle introduction to death and loss. This book is a wonderful resource for families and death workers and will be a staple in my own end-of-life doula tool kit. The accompanying workbook enriches the learning experience and is an empowering and supportive exercise to building one’s own map of Memory Lane.”
–Angela Shook, President of the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance
Francesca Lynn Arnoldy’s MAP OF MEMORY LANE is the children’s book about loss that our world needs right now. From its touching story of a conversation between grandchild and grandmother to the gorgeous cross-cultural illustrations by YoungJu Kim, this book provides a gentle and loving introduction to loss for children of all ages. The companion workbook allows for a shared activity to reinforce the healing power of heartfelt memories. This book should be in every hospice and hospital library and on every family’s bookshelf.
–Karen Wyatt MD, Author of 7 Lessons for Living from the Dying
“I read MAP OF MEMORY LANE and it immediately became my favorite book for children and families navigating loss. I appreciate that the writer took efforts to create opportunities for readers to see themselves in the story and to make meaning of their own experience with their own unique maps. As a therapist working with children and families impacted by death, I’m always looking for a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers and experiences and MAP OF MEMORY LANE is it. I believe this book will resonate with so many and will be a gentle and meaningful way for families to support children as they explore the complexities of death and grief. I genuinely love this book.”
–Ali Waltien, MA, CCLS Rostered Psychotherapist, Certified Child Life Specialist
“I was able to spend time with my own Nana as I read the pages of MAP OF MEMORY LANE. Beautifully crafted to capture the everyday moments that live on in our hearts and minds after our loved ones have passed, Memory Lane is a gift. As a counselor at a K-8 school, I’m grateful to Francesca for fashioning a heartwarming tale that artfully discusses death while celebrating memories made.”
–Amy Sayre, Student Assistance Professional (SAP)
“I read MAP OF MEMORY LANE and was blown away by the simplicity with which Francesca has approached this very important subject. I love the concept and I believe this is a book every parent and grandparent should have. This is a valuable asset for every household. I wish this book the success it deserves and I wish all parents help their children with the companion book to create Memory Maps. In keeping with the theme, the illustrations are perfect. Thank you, Francesca, for another gem of a publication.”
–Harish Nim, End-of-Life Doula and Co-Founder of SamataSoul
“When I first heard about this project, my heart took a moment and smiled because I knew this was something I would do with my own grandchildren. Because of the work I do, I talk with them about death often, and they have experienced loss of pets at a very early age, so they understand what death means. Our relationship is so strong and as I consider my own mortality, the thing I struggle with most, when I die, would be saying goodbye to them… and having them have to say goodbye to me. I think this book presents a beautiful way to start the conversation with the littles early on, and as I discuss it with them, I am reminded of the importance of making lots of memories with them now, while I can, so they have a lot to carry in their heart when I leave. Thank you for putting this together Franceca, I think it is a wonderful idea.”
–Gabrielle Elise Jimenez, Hospice Nurse, EOL Doula, Conscious Dying Educator, Author, Nana of Tabitha and Jolene
“MAP OF MEMORY LANE is an absolute gem! Although it would make a thoughtful gift for a young child living through a recent loss, in an ideal world families would have read this book together long before the death of a grandparent. In Memory Lane, Francesca Arnoldy invites us into a universe where even the youngest among us feel safe sharing their grief with loved ones, where it’s safe to ask questions and to expect honest answers. Arnoldy’s wonderfully inclusive dialogue encourages us to remember that, with our support, kids are remarkably equipped to handle grief.”
–Greg Brown, End-of-Life Doula and Hospice Volunteer
“Francesca invites children and their adults to gently explore the impermanence of life, while also suggesting commemoration by way of shared experiences, memories, tangible keepsakes, and, above all, loving connections. MEMORY LANE tenderly pauses in a place of vulnerability, offering grace and acceptance to everyone’s unique journey through grief and loss.”
–Jess Boyea, Pediatric Palliative Care Program Coordinator for the State of Vermont
“Upon reading MAP OF MEMORY LANE I was transported to my own childhood and the many roads and paths I walked with loved ones who have now departed. As a mother of three and community deathcare educator I am feeling a great relief in adding this book to my treasury to share. The child portrayed, Lee, is welcomed and empowered by asking questions which leads to heart-felt creativity. This story acknowledges the enigma of death across cultures and varied landscapes through gentle and engaging illustrations and creates a natural exploration of life and love.”
–Anne-Marie Keppel, author of Death Nesting: Ancient & Modern Death Doula Techniques, Mindfulness Practices and Herbal Care
“A wise and wonderful resource for gently talking to children about the impermanence of our human lives, and for making a plan ––a fun map! ––to remember loved ones always.”
–Maryanne O’Hara, author of LITTLE MATCHES: A Memoir of Grief and Light and end-of-life doula
“MAP OF MEMORY LANE opens a beautiful door to conversation across generations about loss, meaning and connection. Francesca and YoungJu have created an invaluable resource for families and caring communities to keep close at hand for those tender moments of curiosity.”
–Charley MacMartin, Hospice Professional, Burlington, Vermont
“If you’re looking for a children’s book about death and dying, you’ll find a lovely new one from Francesca Arnoldy who teaches end of life doula work at the University of Vermont. The illustrations by YoungJu Kim are priceless—easy for kids to relate to and a perfect fit for the enduring message that memory serves us well by keeping loved ones alive in our minds and hearts.”
–Lee Webster, Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources and Education
Francesca’s beautifully illustrated book, MAP OF MEMORY LANE, is an invitation for children to share and explore their grief in a safe, healthy, and real way. It is healing balm for a child, and also offers an interactive way of creating a lasting legacy of love and memories for grandparents, parents and loved ones.”
–Diane R. Button, author of Dear Death: Finding Meaning in Life, Peace in Death and Joy in an Ordinary Day