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Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying
Joyce C., Ph.D. Mills, Cary Pillo (Illustrator)



A lot of childrens' books about death are either specific to one religion, or not spiritual at all. This book is a nice bridge between the two extremes. It alludes to the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly, and it describes death as change of form rather than an ending. It also talks about how the living can comfort the dying and how the we cherish memories of them after death. All of this is brought up very tenderly, in the context of a squirrel whose friend, a tree, is dying. The book even touches on the emotions of anger and fear, without dwelling too much on negatives.

 

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Updated January, 2005

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