July/August 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“An incredibly beautiful and moving book for kids and their grown-ups about grief, and how to hold onto someone we love after they have died. I’ll have this on our shelf forever.”
— Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA
A young child learns that even superheroes hurt too in this heartrending story about loss and love, written by debut author Kevin Johnson and illustrated by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Kitt Thomas.
When a child loses the person in his life that he loves more than anything, he uses his cape as protection from his grief. On the day of the funeral, he uses it to block out the pictures and stories people share, refusing to acknowledge the memories that keep bubbling up. He won't think about them. He doesn't want to.
He avoids the memories, until he no longer can.
He remembers then. Their laugh, their smile, the moment they gave him the cape. The cape transforms, becoming a source of comfort and strength as the child navigates the sadness and joy that these memories bring up.
In Cape, Kevin Johnson has crafted an achingly beautiful and honest story about processing and redefining grief after the loss of a loved one. With evocative illustrations by New York Times bestselling artist Kitt Thomas (Stacey’s Extraordinary Words), Cape is a powerful, unforgettable, and necessary story.
About the Author
Kevin Johnson is the author of Cape. The adopted son of two loving educators, Kevin fell in love with storytelling at an early age. He studied screenwriting and filmmaking, receiving a Bachelors of Arts from Temple University. Kevin is a lover of movies, comic books, music, and gadgets. While his birthplace, Philadelphia, will always remain home, Kevin loves to travel and find inspiration for his next tale.
Kitt Thomas, also known as Katelan, is a first-generation Saint Lucian American author-illustrator and graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design. Kitt's mission is to celebrate Black culture with their drawings and encourage inclusion. They have worked with companies such as Netflix, Hasbro, and Cartoon Network. Their first picture book, Stacey's Extraordinary Words, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and a nominee for the NAACP Image Award.
★ "A resonant child’s-eye view of grief—and hope." —Kirkus, starred review
★ "Our young Black protagonist knows the day ahead will be hard, so after getting dressed in his new suit, he makes sure to also put on his bright red cape. He’s hoping the cape will hold off any unwelcome memories... Of course, even his best efforts can’t stop the grief, and as he finally lets himself remember his father, he also remembers the love they shared." —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review
★ "This book is a very welcome and approachable way to discuss grief and death with young readers." —Horn Book, starred review
"Purchase for help with social-emotional learning and to give greater guidance to the trauma of loss for young children; this need not be used solely in cases of extreme grief, but to encourage empathy, understanding, and articulation of loss." —School Library Journal
"Cape takes us there and brings us back, leaving us better and more hopeful than we were before. A necessary read for ever-present grief." —Antwan Eady, author of Nigel and the Moon
A Kids' Indie Next Pick