Life and I by Elisabeth Helland Larsen & Marine Schneider
There’s something about talking to children about death that leaves even the strongest of parents stuttering, mumbling, or reaching for euphemisms. I’ve learned through experience that sometimes kids need the truth. Maybe a basic truth, but the truth. Some kids need a bit of a story to help them understand. If you’re in a situation in which you have to speak to a little one about death and your little one needs a story to connect with but you don’t want to go the religious or anthropomorphous route of talking animals, Little Gestalten brings us an interesting view.
It’s called Life and I, A Story About Death. Death is depicted as an impish, waifish watercolor little girl sort-of-being who talks about all the things that death is part of.
I pay visits to small animals with soft fur and to big animals with trunks or sharp teeth…
Death also discusses how she visits many people at one time, old and young. Death has to exist, the book says, in order for new babies to make their way in this world. The best part of the book is near the end when Death says that Love doesn’t die even when something you love does.
There are some great bits in the book. Perhaps it will make discussing death easier with little ones. This is a keepsake book that would be nice if talked about every year on a grandmother’s birthday or something.
Talking with kids about death is difficult. I’ve had to do it myself many times. I hope more books become available that are as beautifully illustrated as Life and I.
How have you talked to your little ones about death?