Monday, February 20, 2012


The Big Red Chair

Brenda J. Wood

Alloway’s Printing and Publishing, 2011, 31 pages

My Review

Grief can be disabling for the strongest of those among us.  Understanding and dealing with the loss of a loved one is something that each one of us will have to deal with at some point in our lives.  It can send a person into a complete and uncontrollable tail spin  if you don’t have the right tools to learn to move on. 

For children, it can be even more difficult because they just don’t have the life experience, mental or emotional growth to comprehend what’s happened.  If you have a child that is dealing with grief over the loss of someone important in their lives, The Big Red chair is a great stepping stone to helping them adjust in a story format that they can identify with. 

Brenda Wood, who just lost her husband, Ron, last year, has lovingly shared her memories, and photos, of her family; in a wonderful story that centers around a big red chair that didn’t start out to be so loved.  Then, Afi (Icelandic for Grandpa) gets sick goes to heaven.  Her Grandchildren, though, can still remember Afi with all the love and laughter they shared with him, by still using his Big Red Chair.

A loved one may have left your life and gone to Heaven; but their love has not.  It still lives on inside you.  Understanding that we need to hold on to the happy memories, so we can still feel that love, is an important part of the grieving process.  This book will help your child learn to start doing just that.

The Big Red Chair also comes with an audio CD of the story; with Brenda, herself, doing the narrating. 
My Over-all Rating

Author Interview

Author, Brenda J. Wood
WM:  You wrote The Big Red Chair, to help grieving children; and were obviously inspired by the need to help your own Grandchildren.  How were you able to write during such a difficult time?
BW:  Writing helps me face life's pain. I write day in and day out about everything.  Somehow that Big Red Chair got into all our pictures. I should have called the book the Big Red Ham!  I'd been working on a funnier version but when my husband died, I had to change the ending.

WM:  What was your favorite part of The Big Red Chair?
BW:  I love that the chair journals our life.

WM:  What was the hardest part to write in The Big Red Chair?
BW:  The hardest pages for me are the ones when Ron looked so ill.

WM:  Do you think you will write more children’s books?
BW:  Yes I have one with an illustrator right now...its called Dishing Up.

WM:  What’s the best thing about being an author?
BW:  The best thing about being an author is that you are your own boss. The worst thing about being an  author is that you are your own boss!

WM:  Is there something different about being a children’s author over your other works?
BW:  In some ways it is harder to write for children. They know what they want and they expect that you do too.

WM:  How did you start writing?
BW:  I've always written but I got serious about it when I heard that journalling helped you recover from sexual abuse.(P.S. -it does!)

WM:  What are you working on now?
BW:  Meeting Myself, Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind, is due out in a few weeks. It’s a rather funny, sad book about my eating disorders. I'm very excited because it will be in multiple formats. Next years book is about my journey through grief.

WM:  What advice would you give aspiring writers, especially those who may want to write for children?
BW:  There's tons of advice for wanna be writers. My favourite is this. If you never ever write, you will never ever be read.

WM:  Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
BW:  God is my greatest supporter.

WM:  Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
BW:  The biggest writing challenge for anybody is to sit yourself down on a chair and write.

WM:  Did you learn anything from writing The Big Red Chair and what was it?
BW:  God reminded me how much he loved me.

WM:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers; either the children or the parents?
BW:  Don't forget the answer to the last question. He loves you too....

About the Author, Brenda J. Wood
Brenda is a popular motivational speaker; noted for her common sense wisdom, sense of humour and quirky comments.

A prolific author, her other books include:
  • Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind
  • Heartfelt: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living
Follow Brenda at:
and connect with her on Facebook at: 

Brenda also contributes daily devotionals to Everyday Christian

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