The death of a loved pet is an opportunity to help a child to understand, or at least accept, the fact of death. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst, tells a deceptively simple story about a little boy whose cat Barney died.
In a garden nothing stays the same. There is continual change. Seeds germinate. Bird eggs, spider eggs and insect eggs hatch. All living things eat, grow and propagate. In time they die. In time everything that lives dies.
I wonder if death is easier to come to terms with for gardeners?
The sad little boy in this book is comforted when he learns about the cycle of life. He is comforted when he realizes that his cat Barney, buried in the garden, will enrich the soil, and help the trees and flowers and grass to grow.
"That's a pretty nice job for a cat," he says.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough for people over 6 years old. It contains lots to think about and lots to talk about.
I'm linking this post to Holley's book review meme in her blog Roses and Other Gardening Joys.