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How often are we looking for a meaningful way to explain death to our young children?
I believe I have found a wonderful resource:
Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney
The author has adapted a fable about a water bug that changes into a dragonfly. The full color edition features delightful illustrations by artist Robyn Henderson Nordstrom of Cleveland, Ohio.
It begins with a colony of water bugs. Every once in a while one seems to lose interest and clings to a pond lily, gradually moving out of sight and is seen no more. Her friends wait, but she never returns.
The group would say “That’s funny! Wasn’t she happy here? Where do you suppose she went?” No one had the answer.
The leader in the colony suggests that the next one who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell everyone where he/she went and why. Everyone agrees.
The group leader then finds himself climbing up the lily stalk – and his body changes; he loves his new form for he is now able to fly, and yet still be close to his friends, for he is right above them! However, he finds he is unable to keep the promise of coming back. His new form will not allow him to go underwater. He knows now that his friends will have to see for themselves what happens, and he will greet them at that time – and he flies away, filled with lightness and happiness!
This book is a beautiful gift for those experiencing loss.
Rose Woodard & Pamela Lee
West Elmira Library