"Santucci's style is straightforward
her simple language and realistic dialogue serve the subject matter
well. ... [provides] an easy window through which to view grief." -- Kirkus
"Santucci's thoughtful story of loss,
grief, and new beginnings offers children reassurance that even after
death, good memories remain and can be a comfort." -- Booklist
"[After Anna plants the corn] she waits
through the long growing season to hear the singing again--like her
grandfather's rattly voice--and when it speaks to her, she understands
something of the timelessness of love." -- Grand Rapids Press (October 12, 2002)
"Anna's Corn portrays the love
between a grandparent and grandchild and gently looks at loss and grief
and the hope of new life. Barbara Santucci's simple story gently
reassures young readers ..." -- WGRN What's New on the Bookshelf (September 20, 2002)
I chose to write Anna's Corn to help me deal with a great sense of loss I was feeling at that time. I believe that after death, there is a rebirth. Just as the winter turns into spring every year, so can we experience that wonderful healing sense of rebirth within ourselves after a loss.
I wanted Anna's Corn to demonstrate an appreciation of nature in all of its cycles. It was important to me that Grandpa teach this to Anna and pass on his love for the land. Through this teaching, Anna could realize that Grandpa could be present to her on the farm, in the cornfields.
I spent a great deal of time walking through the cornfields on the farms close to my home. I enjoyed listening to the sounds of the corn in the wind during the different seasons, and took many photographs.
I visited state fairs and tractor pulls and farm auctions, talking with the farmers and photographing tractors dating back to the early 19th century.
Anna's Corn offers a slightly different approach to death and grieving by drawing on Anna's and Grandpa's love and fascination for nature. By focusing on the life cycles of the corn, Anna was able to grieve and then let go by planting the seeds given to her by her grandpa, the fall before he died. Anna can look forward to hearing the wind in the corn just like she had always done with Grandpa. The song the wind makes will also remind her of Grandpa's raspy voice.