This book is absolutely, without a doubt, a great book for younger children to cope with the loss of a pet. This book, however, would not be appropriate for the loss of a human life. The author lets the reader know that it is OK to feel sad, to not want to watch TV, or to eat or to go outside and play. But most important of all, that it is OK to cry and feel sad.
The mother and father hold a backyard funeral for Barney, the beloved deceased cat, and the little boy comes up with nine good things to say about Barney. Afterwards, when they plant flowers, he can come up with the tenth good thing about Barney.
Older children will find this too 'babyish', I believe, but this book was perfect for my younger children when our beloved dog, Snowball died. Our vet gave us this book, along with the Rainbow Bridge poem. It was very comforting.
The book conveys that we have to honor the grieving and the questions of children as they mourn their beloved pet, whether it is a fish, a dog, a cow, a horse, or whatever pet that is so important to them. The value of a 'ceremony' is just as important for closure and very important for a small child.
I highly recommend this tender book.
This report prepared by Judith E. Pavluvcik