When the death of a relative, a friend, or a pet happens or is about to happen . . . how can we help a child to understand?
Lifetimes is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. It helps us to remember. It helps us to understand.
Lifetimes . . . a very special, very important book for you and your child. The book that explains—beautifully—that all living things have their own special Lifetimes.
I have a fairly extensive collection of books about death and grieving for “my” children, which we have used for the loss of family, friends and pets. But this is the only book I regularly give copies of to families. The “de-personalized” way it talks about death, the universality of its text combined with soft drawings and repetition are very soothing. This is NOT a book about emotions or stages of death. (If you are looking for one of those Everett Anderson’s Goodbye is a positive place to start.)
This is a book about the rhythm of life and death for all creatures, for everything that is born. One of the best parts of the book is its emphasis on what a lifetime is, and how it is framed by birth and death, and that inbetween those “markers” is what is important. It explains that different creatures have different life spans, and that this aspect of nature is neither fair nor unfair. It simply is. I do not restrict this book to times when a child is grieving, I include it in our regular reading rotation, so that the children see death as a normal part of life experiences. Death is so emotionally charged, especially for the grown ups, that having a calm book is especially worthwhile. When a child is actually grieving balancing the more “intense” books with this soothing one, does wonders.
Barnes & Noble
An exquisitely illustrated and plainly written book, it speaks clearly to the children about a complicated subject. I highly recommend it for all home and school libraries for ages three and up. It should be used as part of a comprehensive set of books on biological and familial concepts as it is not meant to answer all of a child’s questions on life cycles, grief, death or dying. I know that eventually my child will start asking questions about death, and I’d like to know what resources are available. I was particularly drawn to this title because it can be tailored to a variety of religious belief systems. I disagree with a previous poster who stated that this book teaches that there is no afterlife. The way I read it, the book doesn’t take a stand either way. Being "alive" on earth is not the same thing as "eternal life" in the religions I am familiar with. No religion I know of denies that earthly bodies are alive and then they die. This is NOT a book about emotions or stages of death. This is a book about the rhythm of life and death for all creatures, for everything that is born. One of the best parts of the book is its emphasis on what a lifetime is, and how it is framed by birth and death, and that inbetween those “markers”; is what is important. It explains that different creatures have different life spans, and that this aspect of nature is neither fair nor unfair. It simply is.
The concept of death is not generally discussed until there is an event and questions that follow. Once children have moved beyond self to include the awareness of another, they will benefit from the gentle scaffolding of the concept. Whether a ladybug, a ponderosa pine or family member, this book reveals through uncomplicated text and subdued illustrations that “each (living thing) has its own special lifetime.” Lifetimesprovides the candid language for a time when words may be difficult to manage.
This beautiful book uses simplicity to guide children through the beginning, end, and lifetime in between that every living thing faces. By using a wide variety of living things from trees, to rabbits, to the tiniest insects, and at last to humans, we are reminded that every one of us has a different life cycle.