Skip to main content
Cover for Before I Leave

Before I Leave

A Picture Book

Jessixa Bagley


List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


How do you say goodbye to your best friend?

When a little hedgehog's family tells her they're moving far away, she and her anteater best friend decide to play one last time, like nothing is changing. And though it's hard, they discover that while some things have to change, the most important things find a way of working out.

Praise For Before I Leave: A Picture Book

Praise for Before I Leave:

"A sweet and tender moving story that makes a fine addition to most collections."– School Library Journal, starred review

"While the mood is mostly melancholy, the subtly textured watercolors and expressiveness of these two friends should persuade readers that this connection won’t fade with distance. More reassurance comes from the visual playfulness Bagley incorporates throughout the book, starting on the title page, when readers see the friends fishing from a bridge: Zelda has a conventional pole and line, while Aaron uses his very, very long tongue."— Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Jessixa Bagley (Boats for Papa) has a knack for getting to the heart of things with very few words, and her winsome watercolor illustrations, with the finest of lines (those intricate hedgehog spines!), speak volumes."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Sweet and upbeat, this is a testament to the endurance of friendship." — Booklist

Praise for Boats for Papa:

"A deeply empathic story with an accomplished sense of place. In beautiful tones of blue and brown, she immerses readers in the coastal world where Buckley and his mother are trying to make sense of their lives."-Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"The only thing better than this title for anyone who has experienced loss is the redemptive nature of time."-School, Library Journal, starred review

"The pacing is exquisite as Buckley absorbs and reacts to this information, recognizing and expressing love in return. These two will persevere in the tender journey of life. Reassuring, consoling, and lovely."-Booklist, starred review

"Heartbreaking and hopeful, innocent and wise, a gentle story about healing and finding connection-both in the past and present."-Kirkus, starred review

Roaring Brook Press, 9781626720404, 40pp.

Publication Date: February 16, 2016

About the Author

Jessixa Bagley is an author and illustrator originally from Portland, Oregon. She spent many days in her childhood combing the Oregon Coast for the perfect sand dollar. Now, she lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and son in a castle in the sky. Her books include Boats for Papa and Before I Leave.