sku: 04-1483-01
Blue Toboggan

by Joanna Kraus



“Blue Toboggan is a brave book in the sense that many parents don’t want to expose their children to death and how to deal with it in a positive way. I hope it finds a wide audience.” – Al Garrotto, author :”There’s More…a novella of Life and Afterlife” and “One White Horse”

Blue Toboggan is a children’s free verse book inspired by a true story. Will and Danny were the best of friends and always together. But when Danny loses his best friend, nothing matters anymore. Ice cream doesn’t taste the same. School isn’t fun. The blue toboggan that they’d saved their money for is now long forgotten. But when the third grade class plants a tree in Will’s memory, Danny discovers that love and friendship don’t have to die…as long as he remembers.


“What a profound, honest story devoid of sentimentality, moralizing and easy answers, for Danny must find his own way to cope with grief. And what excellent writing. Every word is right and necessary, as is every detail. The bubble gum on the desk seat is an exquisite and poignant detail. Congratulations! on writing a book layered with richness. I think this book goes beyond children dealing with grief. Its message is ageless and can speak to anyone dealing with grief or trying to assist a grief-stricken person. Your book is a treasure.”

—Beverly Lauderdale, Author In Franklin’s HouseNotes When Summer Ends, teacher at Holy Names University and Mt. Diablo Unified School District, California


“This is a story of childhood friendship, which is enduring, all-consuming, and irreplaceable. It is the way those friendships, always to be cherished; not to be diminished by circumstance. Will and Danny were inseparable, until a day when their lives were separated and not to be reunited. The grief in childhood takes on a deeper meaning somehow. It is not readily understood. This book by Ms. Kraus shows us the depth of the sorrow and the resilience of friendships, old and new. Sharing this grief, lessens the sorrow, but does not erase it. Shared memories allow the heart to begin to heal. Ms. Kraus has captured the feeling in the sensitive topic, but it is a book of hope that encourages a positive view of a sensitive subject. ‘Spectacular’ as Will would say.”

—Book Mom


Blue Toboggan is the unusual and beautiful survivor story, of Danny, depressed by the death of his best friend, Will, and how, through positive action he copes with this childhood trauma. Sensitively written for a young audience, death is not spoken by its name, but implied. It is Danny’s warm-hearted teacher who helps find a way for Danny, as well as Will’s other classmates, to honor Will’s memory and to come to an acceptance of this early loss.”

—Sally P. Tubach


“For children 8-12, this sensitively written and illustrated book deals with grief and how to cope with loss by turning to friends and family for support-and by cherishing special memories.”

—Sarah Lawrence Magazine


“Joanna Kraus’s touching picture book, Blue Toboggan, should be recognized as one of the only published picture books addressing the delicate subject of a young boy’s grief when his best friend (Will) suddenly passes away. In almost all picture books that feature a child’s loss of a loved one, the main character is a girl who mourns the death of her best friend or pet or farm animal or grandparent. But in Blue Toboggan, Ms. Kraus has honed in on the feelings of a young boy trying to cope. The book not only draws in the reader to feel Danny’s immense sadness, but what or who can specifically help him get on with his life while comforted by the memories of his friend. Blue Toboggan is an ideal book for children, both boys and girls, that provides a heartfelt, consoling story of one confronting loss, and prevailing over it.”

—Trudi Y. Gardner


“This book is so sensitively written, beautifully capturing the multi-layered experience of loss. So many emotions are artfully expressed: sadness, despair, anger, resentment; and also fondness, love, and, eventually, hope. It also nicely portrays the feelings of isolation that can come with loss, eventually showing the arc back to connectedness with others.”


Find more information about the author at www.joannakraus.com


ISBN: 978-1-63177-836-0


Distribution in USA and Canada
© Mascot Books, Inc. All rights reserved.