Paula Knows What to Do cover

By Sanne Dufft

Paula Knows What to Do

A hopeful journey into the heart of a child as she heals her father’s sadness at the loss of her mother

One Saturday morning, Daddy won’t get out of bed. He misses Paula’s mom. Paula misses her too, but she realizes that Mommy wouldn’t want them to be sad forever. Paula knows just what to do. Taking out paper and paints, Paula creates a world of rolling seas, blue skies, and—best of all—a boat that she and Dad can sail together. And when the wind blows up a storm, Paula knows just what she and Daddy can do about that too.

In this sweet and poignant story about memory and overcoming grief, Sanne Dufft, the author/illustrator of The Night Lion, shows how a child’s imagination can find a moment of joy and a safe place to land after a loved one is gone.

Available In


Ages 4-8
ISBN: 978-1-77278-068-0
List Price: $21.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 9.50 x 11.00 inches / 24.13 x 27.94cm
Pages: 32

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 30

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About this book



Praise for Paula Knows What To Do

“This poignant book is filled with love and kindness….VERDICT A wonderfully comforting book for children who have experienced loss.”—School Library Journal

“The text does not gloss over the different ways parents and children can grieve, or how in grief those roles may be reversed. Readers are left with thoughts about the therapeutic ability of art to express emotions and create healing spaces for the imagination to work through loss.”—The Horn Book Magazine

“Light and shadow are used to great effect to convey mood…A gentle, touching story of loss and resilience and of the beneficial role imagination plays, with visually intelligent and well-executed illustrations.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] sweet and poignant story about memory and overcoming grief, showing how a child’s imagination can find a moment of joy and a safe place to land after a loved one is gone. Unique, thoughtful and entertaining, Paula Knows What To Do is unreservedly recommended for family, daycare center, preschool, elementary school, and community library picture book collections.”—Midwest Book Review

“Rating: 5…You really have a feeling that, although they are both sad, things will be better as long as they are there for each other….Perfect for children between the ages of two and five and definitely a great book to start a conversation about dealing with a loss.”—Youth Services Book Review

“Children can take comfort in the fact that they can feel less sad by helping someone else when they are feeling similar feelings.”—Resource Links

Paula Knows What to Do, a gentle piece of bibliotherapy…would be useful in discussions of feelings and of the loss of a parent. Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“Gently told, visually lovely with its range of color and light, and uplifting, children will be happy to know that father and daughter can weather the storm that loss brings.”—Sal’s Fiction Addiction

“A great book to use to begin discussions of loss and grief.”—Canadian Bookworm


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