Friday, February 11, 2011
Helping Children Say Goodbye
Crystal had lived in the garden for many years. She was growing old. Zelda was just starting out in life. They were best friends. They read books together. They took trips together. And they talked about everything. But one day Crystal was not in the garden. She had died. In this gentle story, children learn, with Zelda, that true friendship is a gift that doesn’t die.
A young girl and her lovable dog, Lulu, are the best of friends. They play games together, explore their neighborhood, and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for, but when she grows older and gradually becomes weak, the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend, and inevitably, cope with the death of her canine companion. Though she is deeply saddened by Lulu's passing and misses her very much, over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever... in her heart.
With realistic, hopeful illustrations by Ard Hoyt, this tender tale offers an accessible lens to young children learning to understand and cope with the mixed emotions that come with the loss of a loved one.
Once again, I gave into impulse when checking out these books. Just like kids, I tend to grab a couple of picture books on my way to the checkout. These impulse checkouts are almost always due to the cover. Sometimes I might find the title intriguing, but usually it's the cover.
This time, both impulse checkouts had to do with helping young children deal with death. It would be wonderful if children never had to experience saying goodbye to a loved one (whether it be a family member or a beloved pet). Unfortunately, death is a part of life and if you find yourself looking for ways to help a young child cope with such a situation, these two books are excellent tools. Saying Goodbye to Lulu uses realistic illustrations to help tell a beautiful, yet bittersweet story of love between a young girl and her dog.
Sebastian Loth's Remembering Crystal is another beautifully illustrated book with a strong message about how true friendship outlasts even death.
Both of these are excellent additions to school libraries or home collections.
Recommended for Pre-school to 2nd Grade.
Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5