Life Without Nico
Author: Andrea Maturana
Illustrator: Francisco Javier Olea
Published in 2016 by Kids Can Press
Life Without Nico is a sweet story that explores separation and loss in a gentle way that is accessible for younger kids. Maia and Nico are best friends. They do absolutely everything together. One day, however, Nico’s father explains that their family will be moving across the world. Maia and Nico are heartbroken by this news. After Nico moves away, Maia feels that she has a hole in her life. The emptiness continues to grow and follow her everywhere. Soon, she makes a new friend and discovers a new passion. The hole in her life gets a little smaller. When the time comes for Nico’s return, Maia is nervous that her life has become so full that she does not know if there is still room for Nico. But when she is reunited with Nico, she learns that even when our lives fill up with new and exciting things, there can still be a special place in our heart for old friendships. This endearing story is the perfect spark for a conversation about loss, separation, and the capacity of friendship. The precious text and rich illustrations take a concept that can be rather abstract and difficult for kids to process and make it concrete to ease children in expressing their emotions.
Author Andrea Maturana biography:
Article “Life Without Nico: a book for when your kid’s bestie moves away” from Today’s Parents: