GOODBYE RUNE by Marit Kaldhol


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Two stories for young children about one of life's most difficult tasks--coping with the death of a friend. In the first, Betsy loses Peter when he is hit by a car. In the second, a Norwegian import, Sara grieves for Rune, drowned when they are together and not paying full attention to Sara's mother's instructions. In I Had a Friend Named Peter, the task is hard enough--comprehending the reality, raging at fate, learning about funerals, feeling the physical symptoms of bereavement, finding ways to remember Peter. In Goodbye Rune, the trauma would seem compounded by Sara's contemplating her role in her friend's death. This connection is not made, however; both girls cope in general ways. In both books, the girls attend the funeral; the girls' parents represent fonts of sensitivity as each girl repeatedly seeks answers about never seeing her friend again and guidance about how to keep his spirit alive. Both authors show understanding of the psychological questions that would interest young children. Cohn, a social worker and founder of Helping Children in Crisis, provides an introduction for adults that encompass children's concepts of death and how to best share information about the death of a friend. Owens' colorful illustrations are sympathetic and realistic. Kaldhol is a poet and novelist; her collaboration with Oyen is more intuitive and spiritual; Oyen's lovely, soft paintings in color and black-and-white are misty and ethereal, a moving reflection of the emotions in the text. Two fine, useful books that will help not only children but the adults who guide them as well.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Kane/Miller