Each month we will be posting a book review dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. This months review comes from our team member Melissa T. who has reviewed Doris Stickney’s Water Bugs & Dragonflies – Explaining Death to Young Children, Illustrations by Robyn Henderson Nordstrom.
Explaining death to a child is difficult, luckily Water Bugs & Dragonflies exists to help illustrate and educate young children about death.
This story is about a colony of water bugs that live in a pond and explains death as some of their colony disappears. The story goes on to talk about the transformation that takes place once a bug goes up into the air and out of the water. Once the bug gets out of the water he gets his wings and in the end flies off happily knowing one day he will see the rest of his bug friends when they also get their wings.
I think this story can either be told as a religious story, with the pond being earth and the air being heaven or it could be told just as it reads.
I really like this story for two reasons. After my son died I struggled to find something that reminded me of him and because of a few different things that happened while I was pregnant, I settled on dragonflies so the book reminds me of my son. The other reason is the very simple and colorful illustrations are really good for kids, there is not so much going on that they lose focus like some kids books.
My favorite part of the book is the ending with the dragonfly flying off happily into its new world of sun and air. It always makes me think of an angel.
I would recommend this book to anyone with a child who they are trying to explain about death in a way that will make sense to them or to anyone that just loves dragonflies.