Poppo’s Half-Birthday Wish


Jenny’s grandfather is no fun anymore. He can’t walk or talk or do anything that he used to do before he got sick. But, Jenny is planning a big birthday surprise for her Poppo’s Half-Birthday. Her biggest surprise is making his Half-Birthday wish come true!
Key Points
  • Encourages us to understand the importance of living in the present moment, and to make the most of the precious time we have with our loved ones
  • Models a child’s unique ability to celebrate and find happiness, even in the face of illness and death
  • Reminds us to do what we love to do, and those things that make us happy

Poppo's Half-Birthday Wish follows Jenny as she visits her Poppo during his final stage of illness to celebrate his half-birthday. In her bedroom, she collects all the things that she knows her grandfather will love. Even though Poppo is too sick to join in the celebration, Jenny creates a fun-filled half-birthday party that brings joy to them both. This book is ideal for a child who has a loved one with a terminal illness.

“In Poppo’s Half Birthday Wish, Annie MacDonald takes on a most difficult issue – how to help children deal with the death or debilitating illness of a loved adult in their lives. In this beautifully illustrated book, a delightful little girl named Jenny plans a “half birthday” celebration for her beloved grandfather who is seriously ill. As Jenny recalls the many fond memories she has of her grandfather, children will be able to recall their own precious memories of their loved one, an important part of the grieving process. And as Jenny discovers what Poppo’s real wish is, children reading the book will learn an effective way to put the death of a loved one in a perspective that’s both comforting and hopeful. The hidden gem is this book is that the adults reading it will also find it healing! As a professional, I would recommend this book for any parent or therapist dealing with children at any stage in the grieving process but the highest praise I can give is to say that I wish it had been available when my own boys experienced the loss of their beloved grandfather. Beautifully done, Annie!” –  Terry Raposo, MSW, LICSW – Clinincal Social Worker and Psychotherapist