Friday, August 8, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 111

Picture Book: Badger’s Parting Gifts

Author & Illustrator: Susan Varley

Summary: Elderly Badger dies early in the pages of this thoughtful book. The text says that he is not afraid and has even warned his friends that soon he will be going “down the long tunnel.” Then he dies in his sleep. The next few pages are comprised of his grieving friends, other woodland creatures, who individually reminisce about what Badger taught them. Badger has served as a confidant and adviser to them. These conversations about Badger’s legacies seem to help the community better cope with Badger’s absence and living life without him.

Hanna’s Comments: Badger’s death is handled very delicately in this tenderhearted book. You might want to give young children a warning because the death does come suddenly. The focus here is clearly on the lessons and knowledge that Badger left behind. Clearly the message is that we live beyond our deaths through the memories and kindnesses that we leave behind. Talking about these gifts, offers a kind of healing. This would be a wonderful book for adults as well as children who are grieving a loved one.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 1992

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not on at this time, several other translations were available.

Formats other than Book: Video

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, aging, brokenness, comfort, community, companionship, death/loss/grief, dependence/interdependence, depression/despair/sadness/sorrow, dying, endings, encouragement, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gifts/giftedness/talents, goodness, gratitude/thankfulness/thanksgiving, helping, healing/healthcare, leadership/servant leadership, loneliness, memories/remembering/ritual/tradition, mentors/teachers, milestones, neighbors, neighborhood, power, presence, relationships, servant hood/service/serving, sharing, treasure  

Scripture Connections: Every good & perfect gift is from above (James 1:17); as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book after the death of a much-loved & wise matriarch or patriarch of a family, religious school, or faith community. Then discuss the gifts the deceased has left behind in your community.

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