So begins this story for the very youngest about the death of a pet. Daddy tells the boy that Mousie is dead, but the child prefers to think that Mousie is just very, very tired. Slowly, after lots of tears and many questions, the boy comes to terms with the fact that his pet is gone. He plans for the funeral by painting a picture of himself to put inside the shoebox that will hold Mousie. He will get another pet, but not right away.
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Margaret K. Much of this book comes from his experience as a young child seen through my eyes. So this book is also about the loved ones we all lose over time. This book comes from my own childhood as well. I chose to write in the first person because I wanted young children to identify with the voice of the child in this book. I wrote about the progression of the universal feelings around death that even young children have-first denial, then sadness, then anger, then even some humor and then, yes, some acceptance.
The book concentrates on the many feelings a young child has, on the preparation for the burial and on beginning to come to terms with a major loss. The decoration of the shoebox reminded me of the decoration of a sarcophagus. While I was writing this book, I could picture the drawings for this.
Jan showed the relationship between this young child and his parents, and to the mouse as well, as loving, warm and understanding. She caught what I was trying to write and say so clearly in her beautiful art. Did it die too? Harris walks kids through the grieving process in Goodbye Mousie. This book addresses pet loss matter-of-factly for the very young. The satisfying acts of burying Mousie and remembering his antics show children that grief is a normal feeling. The boy and his parents put Mousie in a box with some of his favorite things-carrots, a piece of jam toast, and a toy or two-and make a headstone for him out of driftwood.
Sensitive narration and charming illustrations. Now, in Goodbye Mousie, with the help of wonderful illustrations by Jan Ormerod, Harris deals with the end of life. The endpapers show a spirited white mouse eating, scampering, and generally enjoying life.
When his father explains that Mousie is dead, the child is furious. The child then moves through all the stages of grief, from denial to final acceptance, in one agonizing day. The parents are sympathetic and help him through his grief. At that moment, and for some time afterward, the child needs not a book, but a person who will listen and understand. Later, when the first stages of grief are worked through — or, even better, before a child must confront similar losses — a book like this should be shared and talked about.
Mousie is laid to rest in a shoebox with crayons, carrots, four grapes and a candy bar, but, in the meantime, the little boy is cross to discover that his mother has eaten the rest of his toast. A must-have book for therapists and counselors, as well as for parents needing to guide a child through a period of bereavement. With the help of his parents, the youngster places his pet in a shoebox, tucks an old T-shirt around him, and then carefully chooses several special items to keep him company.
He tapes the box shut, decides that it looks too plain, and decorates it with swirling painted lines. Outside, after he and his parents bury the shoebox, he cries a bit and then says good-bye to his friend. Set against pleasing buff-colored backgrounds, the artwork, done in black-pencil line and watercolor washes, echoes the emotional nuances of the story. An excellent choice to help young readers deal with loss. With the help of his family he understands that it is OK to feel angry and sad when someone dies.
The gifts for mouse, put into the shoe box, underline the fun the pair of them had when the mouse was alive. The whole book is a wonderfully written and illustrated story about life and death.
Margaret K. Much of this book comes from his experience as a young child seen through my eyes. So this book is also about the loved ones we all lose over time. This book comes from my own childhood as well. I chose to write in the first person because I wanted young children to identify with the voice of the child in this book.
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