Please click for more information about shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Groundwood Books

The Funeral

Illustrated by Matt James

For students in grades P - 2 | Published April 01, 2018 | ISBN 9781554989096
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Cover of The Funeral

Regular price $16.95 CAD

40 pages
Digital Format

Also Available in Print

About this book

The Funeral

Matt James

A New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book
New York Public Library Best Books for Kids
Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor Winner

Norma and her parents are going to her great-uncle Frank’s funeral, and Norma is more excited than sad. She is looking forward to playing with her favorite cousin, Ray, but when she arrives at the church, she is confronted with rituals and ideas that have never occurred to her before. While not all questions can be answered, when the day is over Norma is certain of one thing — Uncle Frank would have enjoyed his funeral.

This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us.

Key Text Features
speech bubbles

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).

Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

About the Author

Matt James

Matt James is a noted painter, a multiple award-winning illustrator and a musician. He lives in Toronto. Visit Matt James' website:

Awards and Praise
Matt James's (I Know Here) quiet, child's-eye view of a funeral, with all its mysterious rituals and traditions, is a pitch-perfect introduction to a sometimes-difficult theme. . . . [A] graceful, beautifully illustrated picture book about death, customs and emotions.
  • Short-listed Elizabeth-Mrazik Cleaver Award, 2018
  • Commended New York Public Library Best Books for Kids, 2018
  • Winner Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor, 2019
  • Commended New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children‚Äôs Book, 2018
The Funeral The Funeral The Funeral