Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Our apologies for the lateness of yesterday's post, and an explanation. It seems Freaky was a bit unnerved by all the recent fame and attention, and dug himself a hole under a rock. Under the water. Where he got stuck. We aren't sure exactly how long he was wedged under there when the humans came around and discovered him, but he didn't look too good. All is well today, though, and he is back in the tank, swimming around as if nothing ever happened. If you ever want to know all about resuscitating turtles, ask Miss Ami!

The whole incident brought up another topic we get asked about a lot: death of a pet. Never a fun subject to discuss, but a good book can help provide some answers or comfort to little ones. None of these are new, but they are favorites we recommend often.

The first part of this book deals with the boy's cat getting old and dying, and how sad he is. The adults around the boy try several things to help him feel better, which may be a little over the top - we're not sure kids should expect their entire class to draw pictures for them when their pet dies. The second part of the book deals with a new kitten coming into the house, and there is much discussion of the differences between the old cat and the new. We like this part, because at first the boy only sees that the kitten isn't doing the things he liked in his old cat, but then learns to notice funny or smart the new kitten does. Obviously not a book for families who aren't planning on replacing the old pet any time soon!

Simple rhymes, again beginning with a much-loved cat growing old and dying, and how the boy feels afterward. Mam's assurance that "his spirit is forever", and the boy's statement, "you're always in my heart" can be interpreted and explained further by parents to fit their particular beliefs.

We're sorry there isn't a picture available, because this book is illustrated in beautiful, warm oil paintings. An old book, but sometimes those are the best! At a first grade reading level, this is one many children can read alone, which may be what they need. A dog this time, it starts off right away with the old dog's death, and goes into the things the boy misses doing with him. It ends with the father bringing home a new puppy - apparently on the very same day, which we do not recommend - but on the whole, a very sweet book.

This is actually one we hesitate to recommend, for several reasons. We include it because the Mog books are so popular (and rightfully so), but there are some parts of this book parents might not be happy with.

It begins with Mog feeling so "dead tired" that she decided "to sleep forever." Small children might later become concerned when Daddy says he is dead tired, and wants to go to sleep! Mog sticks around as some sort of ghost cat, watching the family and then helping out when a new kitten enters the scene. This might not sit well with some parents' beliefs. Not reason enough not to get the book, of course, but something to keep in mind depending on how well you know a particular patron.

We know there are several other good books on this subject out there, and we would love to hear your favorites. Post a comment, and we will add a link to this blog entry. As for us, we will be watching Freaky like a hawk for a few days!

- Atlas and Yoda

1 comment:

  1. A very nice segue! But I refuse to read The Old Dog. My dogs will never be old. Never. They will both outlive me...especially the pretty one. :)