A “just enough” introduction to the experience of death.
Designed for adults to share with very young children, this gentle informational text begins with the part death plays in the natural world and goes on to answer the questions of children who lose grandparents. (Just who has died can be inferred from illustrations; it’s not directly stated in the text.) The author, a child psychologist, explains why people die and talks about funerals, describing them as usual but not universal. Answering the question “What happens to the person who has died?” she introduces the idea of a soul, carefully prefacing it with the phrase, “Many cultures believe….” She uses the same kind of formulation for concepts of afterlife, heaven, and reincarnation. She reassures young listeners that it’s normal to be sad and offers ways to cope with grief: a commemoration, writing and drawing, sharing memories and talking about the loss. Revell’s digitally painted illustrations support the text. They’re consciously multicultural, including images of a candle, casket and flowers, burning incense, and a mosque. A freckle-faced boy and dark-skinned curly-haired girl are the main characters, but some pages feature Asian families. She emphasizes the children’s heads and eyes, making them very appealing. There are birds, butterflies, flowers, and even a rainbow.
A boon for families with young children. (Informational picture book. 3-6)