Monday, November 11, 2019

The End of Something Wonderful by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic illustrated by Geroge Ermos

The End of Something Wonderful by Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic illustrated by Geroge Ermos
November 2019 Sterling Children's Books

Children love their pets very much — and when the animals die, that loss can be hard to process.

The End of Something Wonderful helps kids handle their feelings when they’re hurting and can’t find all the right words. In a warm, understanding, sometimes funny way, it guides children as they plan a backyard funeral to say goodbye, from choosing a box and a burial spot to giving a eulogy and wiping away tears. Most of all, it reassures them that it’s not the end of everything...and that Something Wonderful can always happen again.

This might not be quite what you're expecting with a book about dealing with the death of a beloved pet.  The subtitle is, 'A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral' after all...and that is what this book is.

It is quite matter of fact in it's tone, the first page starts with:
'First you need something dead, meaning something that was once alive but isn't any longer.'

Even though this book is maybe not quite as 'warm and fuzzy' as you would expect,  that doesn't mean that it takes the death of your pet lightly.  It talks about no matter what kind of funeral you have for your pet, your pet knows how much you miss them.  There's a great page with a boy and a pin up board, and on it are notes on everything from 'How Do You Feel? Confused Sad Lost' to 'Bury in fish bowl ? Maybe a bag?'.

The book looks at all of the practicalities of a pet burial, from what to put the pet in, where to dig the hole (or is it OK to flush a fish?) and what might happen at a funeral. There might be songs, there could be tears, and sometimes there might even be matter how you feel or react, that's OK.

It explains that you can talk about how much fun you had together, that you loved them, and that you miss them and being dead won't change that. That's it's OK to cry, that it's OK to not be ready to say goodbye.

I especially like the text on the last page, it's spot on about what a funeral is, whether it be a beloved pet or a human loved one.

Maybe you want to sit with your Something Dead and be quiet for a while.
Whatever you want to do is just fine.
Funerals come at the end of something wonderful.
Just remember: it's not the end of everything.
You can always have SOMETHING WONDERFUL again.

In short, if you're looking for a book that deals with the loss of a pet, I would recommend this one.  I would also recommend reading it first, making sure that the tone and style fit your child and your child's experiences.

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