The Death Book provides a forum for children to ask questions about death: Do ghosts exist? What’s a funeral? Where do the dead go? What does God look like? Using visual jokes and informal language, the author provides a wide range of unsentimental, disarming ways of talking about death. With her signature comedic drawing style, Pernilla Stalfelt makes the fantasies, fears, and realities of death accessible for her readers.
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Swedish author-illustrator Stalfelt (The Hair Book; The Love Book) takes a humorous approach to a tough topic: death and dying. Comical watercolor cartoons (their European sensibility includes a sprightly sprinkling of anatomically correct figures) quickly set the tone. Meanwhile, the straightforward text explores ancient and modern burial rituals, terms for death ("passed away," "bit the dust," "went to the happy hunting grounds") and the many theories about "where you go when you die" (heaven, ghosts-there's even a silly riff on vampires). Stalfelt tucks in plenty of giggles (for an example of reincarnation-"What if you become a hot dog???"-she shows a protesting wiener about to be eaten-"Noooo"), but some youngsters may be frightened by the forthright facts (e.g., "Sometimes a baby is already dead when it's born" or "One day you have your grandpa. The next day you may not be able to see him anymore"). With its candid and relaxed tone, the light-hearted narrative may raise as many questions as it answers, and will likely offend some adults with its irreverence. However, children old enough to understand the issues may appreciate the book's informal style, which leavens the weighty theme. From the opening page's discussion of how death is difficult to understand-"It can be hard even if you're really big" shows a puzzled elephant grappling with the concept-to the sweetly goofy "Song from Above" that caps the entire production, this is an original approach to a challenging subject for young readers. Ages 8-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grade 3-5-This title addresses a topic of interest and confusion to youngsters. Unfortunately, interspersed between some reassuring comments ("It's hard to understand what death is- not only when you're little, but when you're big, too-") are others that need more explanation ("Sometimes a baby is already dead when it's born" and "God is there [in the heavenly kingdom], waiting for everyone who has died to arrive-"). Throughout, flippant writing detracts from the seriousness of the subject and might offend readers ("There may be those who turn into vampires- like Stan, for example. Once when Stan was going to bite an old lady and suck her blood- one thousand mosquitoes came and bit him instead and sucked his blood! Served him right!"). Several spot-art cartoons per page include anatomically correct figures (dead and alive). A better choice for this age group is Karen Bryant-Mole's Death (Raintree, 1999), which is illustrated with color photos and includes notes for parents and teachers.
Doris Losey, Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library, Tampa, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Groundwood Books, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0888994826
Descripción Groundwood Books, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110888994826
Descripción Groundwood Books, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0888994826