Where are you now, Star?
You danced through the sky,
As quickly you vanished,
Now where is your light?
So begins Tyler Clark Burke’s most recent picture book Where Are You Now?
An award-winning author and illustrator, Burke delivers a gentle and heartfelt exploration of the passage of time and the impermanence of death in Where Are You Now? Penned in poetic haiku-like verse Where Are You Now? is a warm embrace of a book that, with its mid-March publication date, beautifully ushers in spring, and the rebirth it heralds.
Accompanied by feather-light watercolor illustrations Where Are You Now? is an immersive and visual wonder. Elongated shadows of a parent and child clasping hands, the dreamy purple weight of the night sky and its constellations, and the sweeping majesty of misty mountain ranges sidle up alongside Burke’s delicate, but potent, prose, making it sing.
A meditation on the cyclical and eternal essence of nature, and by extension the concurrence of death with life, Where Are You Now? ultimately shimmers with positivity and possibility. Especially for children who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. Finding beauty and healing in the raw, aching, pain that follows loss, Where Are You Now? gives words to some of the confusion and uncertainty children may be overwhelmed with.
Burke’s prose is a gentle caress that promises that what we once held or had is never really gone. Its essence endures, if not in the ways we expect. Although the stars in the beginning of the book seem to vanish, Burke coaxes readers to see that they aren't gone. They may no longer be constellations twinkling high in the night sky, but they continue to glow and shine in sand, stones, sea glass, and even in the air.
Certain to be a treasured addition to storytimes and even therapy offices, the reassuring messages, hope, and innate positivity in Where Are You Now? can bring light and comfort to not only the youngest of readers but anyone contending with the devastating loss of companion animals, family members, or friends.
I'm a freelance entertainment writer with a degree in Journalism and 4+ years of experience. I'm currently a features writer for That Moment In, news writer for the nonprofit organization The Protego Foundation, and a contributor The Sartorial Geek, POMEmag, The Leaky Cauldron, and Screen Rant.