Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Picture Book

UK Writer and Illustrator
Susan Varley
Badger’s Parting Gifts
Andersen Press 2013 (1984)   $18.99pb 32 pages
ISBN 978 1 8493 9514 4 

Themes:  Death/ Grieving/ Memories

Badger is so tired and so old and he realises that soon he must leave his friends and go down ‘the long tunnel’ to die. When this happens his animal friends are overcome with grief and sadness but as winter turns to spring they begin to remember all the wonderful things that Badger had taught them over the years – how to make paper cuts (Mole), how to tie a tie (Fox), how to ice skate (Frog).  This book must be one of the best I have come across for explaining the concept of death (and especially of an older person) to young children.  Over the past 29 years I have used it with many parents and families and it is great to see it bought out as a reprint. It has not dated and still reads without a skerrick of sentimentality in the telling and its bright accessible illustrations still complement the story.
(Have a surreptitious tissue at the ready if you are reading it aloud).

Preschool up/ Age 4 up

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