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The Semicolon cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-912068-6
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-912066-2
    • 8.5 x 11.0 inches
    • Premium Color interior
    • 36 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-912067-9
    • 8.5 x 11.0 inches
    • Premium Color interior
    • 36 pages
  • Keywords
    • Loss of a parent,
    • Childhood grief,
    • Depression after loss,
    • Grammar and punctuation,
    • Finding hope,
    • Living after loss,
    • Finding meaning

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The Semicolon
by Britt Sayler

Every night, a giant pit sucked and slurped up everything... And every night, it slurped me up, too... For one young child, nothing has been the same since losing their father. Words won’t fit together. Playing soccer is no longer fun. And every night brings the same terrible dream... a black, slurping pit that looks just like the period their father taught about as a grammar teacher. Periods mean something has ended, forever. After receiving the gift of their father’s old grammar book, other symbols appear in the dream. The comma that carries one idea to another might keep the child from being slurped up for a while, but to escape their nightmare for good, the child must make a startling discovery – one that will reach beyond dreams to help heal their grief and teach them the meaning of their father’s favourite symbol of all. Written by Britt Sayler and illustrated by Dorota Rewerenda, The Semicolon is a compelling, sensitive picture book that gives voice to the experience of childhood depression. Inspired by the use of the semicolon by mental health advocates around the world, this story will help parents and educators begin conversations with children about big feelings, finding hope and building resilience.

Britt Sayler photo

Britt Sayler is a writer originally from Calgary, Canada, who is thrilled to make her picture book debut with The Semicolon. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College and has worked as a magazine editor and freelance writer across the country. Britt has twice been longlisted in the national CANSCAIP Writing for Children competition (2018 and 2020), including for an earlier version of this story. She was compelled to write about the difficult topic of childhood depression after navigating her own challenges with mental health and learning that 1 in 30 children within the average age range of picture book readers is currently depressed. Britt writes for both children and adults, and lives with a rescue dog who makes an appearance in The Semicolon! To learn more, visit


Britt Sayler
Dorota Rewerenda

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