Liz Ballard Hamm and Andrew Ballard
Today, Andrew adventures through life as a writer, actor, and teacher living in Culpeper, VA, with his dog Luke at his side. He is currently engaged in postgraduate studies at the University of Virginia. Liz is a student at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing. She enjoys exploring the wilds of Richmond, VA with her husband, Andrew Hamm; their children, Ruby and Gabriel; and their loving dog, Boba.
The Great Big Ark in the Sky is Liz and Andrew’s first picture book. More information about the authors and their book can be found at their website.
The Great Big Ark in the Sky
written by Liz Ballard Hamm and Andrew Ballard
illustrated by Lucy Koo
Where do animals go when they leave this world? After losing their family dog, a little girl and her brother embark on a magical voyage aboard a flying ark to seek the answer to that question. Come aboard this adventure into the great beyond!
PRAISE FOR THE GREAT BIG ARK IN THE SKY:
“The story is an enchanting tale of acceptance and assurance when a child faces the loss of a pet. The illustrations and placement of the words on the page provide a sense of wonder and adventure suitable for a variety of ages spanning the youngest of listeners to more advanced readers. This book provides an opportunity for families facing difficult times to imagine the possibilities and open the door for processing their loss across faiths.”
— Samara Musselman, MT, M.Ed., early childhood educator
“The most significant relationships of a child’s life can be those they share with their pets. This book honors these relationships while illustrating the importance of giving kids language to talk about loss and death. I’m thankful that this book continues to expand the options parents have to explore these topics with their children.”
— Joy Outland-Brock, LCSW and therapist
“Reading The Great Big Ark in the Sky was a delight. Its tender language and gorgeous child-friendly illustrations pulled me in immediately. What a gentle and kind way to teach children that death is not an end, but a transition. The artistry of Ballard, Hamm, and Koo is on display, and their reverence for the subject of love, loss, and loving again will likely comfort many young and not-so-young alike. Kudos for such a gift.”
— Cynthia R. M. Rafala, LPC, LMFT, CCMHC, counselor and therapist
“The Great Big Ark in the Sky is an absolute must in your child’s library! Not only does it tackle difficult subject matter with a gentle word and a sense of wonder, but the illustrations are charming and approachable. A dream of heaven for all of God’s creatures has never been so natural or so beautiful.”
— Jessica Moretti, MFA, designer and illustrator
“People are often young when they first experience the permanence of loss and truly deep sadness that accompanies the death of a beloved animal family member. A cat, dog, guinea pig—it does not matter—the grief is real! I would like to think my Foxhound is sitting next to the helmsman, taking in the sights on The Great Big Ark in the Sky.”
— H. E. Burchard, DVM, owner of Amberwood Veterinary Hospital
“The Great Big Ark in the Sky is a sweet story! This book will bring comfort to anyone who has lost a furry best friend. I know that I have several friends who are waiting for me! The loss of a pet is definitely a tough topic that many families have to address with their children. This story will bring comfort to the sensitive little ones who worry about all animals and what happens when they die.”
— Lisa Ann Groves, MS, MLS, school librarian
“The Great Big Ark in the Sky will touch the hearts of all of its readers. This beautiful story’s universal message of love, shared by two endearing children, provides comfort and peace, especially to anyone who has experienced loss. Imaginative and inspiring, The Great Big Ark in the Sky reminds us that those we love will always be with us, forever watching over us from their heavenly home.”
— Stephanie Parwulski, author of Beatrice and the Sunflower Gift and Gloria's Hope Tree