The Rough Patch

by Brian Lies, Brian Lies

On Sale: 08/14/2018

Enlarge Book Cover

The Rough Patch

by Brian Lies

illustrated by Brian Lies

On Sale: 08/14/2018


About the Book

A breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book about loss and grief, love and hope, and the healing power of friendship and nature, from New York Times–bestselling picture book creator Brian Lies.

Readers of Cynthia Rylant’s classic Dog Heaven, the Fan Brothers’ The Night Gardener, and anyone experiencing loss will be swept up by this poignant story.

Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their award-winning garden, which grows big and beautiful. One day the unthinkable happens: Evan’s dog dies. Heartbroken, Evan destroys the garden and everything in it. The ground becomes overgrown with prickles and thorns, and Evan embraces the chaos.

But beauty grows in the darkest of places, and when a twisting vine turns into an immense pumpkin, Evan is drawn out of his misery and back to the county fair, where friendships—old and new—await.

New York Times–bestselling author-illustrator Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible, and deeply personal story about friendship, loss, and recovery. The Rough Patch features stunning paintings by the award-winning creator of Bats at the Beach.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Spare and beautifully phrased...Lies’s rich colors and expressive use of light are evident throughout this picture book, which acknowledges grief and delivers a hopeful message with subtlety, empathy and eloquence.” - Booklist (starred review)

“The polished, jaunty spreads that open this story by Lies give little hint of the deep emotion to come. ...The story of how Evan finds his way through his grief rings true, and Lies’s atmospherically lit, exquisitely drafted paintings will absorb readers as they trace Evan’s journey through mourning.” - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The story is simply and subtly told with admirably genuine emotion, but the textured, strong-hued art is the real standout. Charming images...are to savor. ...Reassuring and clear, this is a heartfelt story about loss and discovering that one can love again.” - Kirkus Reviews

“With tender restraint, author and illustrator Brian Lies has crafted a deeply felt story of new hope and healing after loss...The pacing is flawless, and the emotions are never forced. ...Understated yet powerful, The Rough Patch is a story that stays with you.” - BookPage

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062671271
  • ISBN 10: 0062671278
  • Imprint: Greenwillow Books
  • On Sale: 08/14/2018
  • Pages: 40
  • List Price:21.99 CAD
  • Ages: 4 to 8
  • BISAC1 : JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Death & Dying
  • BISAC2 : JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Foxes
  • BISAC3 : JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dogs

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies, Brian Lies

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the web site's home page.

Other Booksellers

The broadest selection of online bookstores. The links will take you to the Web site's home page.


International Customers

If you are located outside Canada, the best way to order online is to choose from the following bookstores listed by region and country.