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When Dinosaurs Die
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About the Author

Laurie Krasny Brown is an author, educator, and parent committed to providing answers to the questions children have. She has written many books, including the popular Dino Tales: Life Guides for Families series, illustrated by her husband, Marc Brown. Marc Brown is the creator of the bestselling Arthur Adventure book series and co-developer of the children's PBS television series, Arthur. He has also created a second book series, featuring D.W., Arthur's little sister, as well as numerous other books for children. Marc Brown lives with his family in Tisbury, Massachusetts, on Martha's Vineyard.

Reviews

Aided again by the amiable dinos from Dinosaurs to the Rescue! and Dinosaurs Divorce, the Browns tackle perhaps their toughest subject to date. Using the frank yet reassuring tack employed in the previous books, the author presents a balanced, comprehensive and age-appropriate explanation of why death occurs and other such issues, and suggests sensible, specific tactics for coping with the resulting loneliness, fright and anger. At the same time, she wisely leaves room for a child's individual response, acknowledging that with the death of a loved one, be it a pet or a parent, "there is no right or wrong way to feel." Equally wisely, she defers some explanations to other adults. For example, after an array of dinosaur characters offers different beliefs on what happens after death, she advises readers, "If you have questions about it, ask your family or your religious leader." Marc Brown's typically busy art contains uplifting details and comical asides, yet does not whitewash the subject matter; one particularly wrenching scenario shows a young dino kneeling at her bed, saying, "Please, God, let Daddy be alive again. I want him back." These astute collaborators provide a commendable service for grieving children and the adults in their lives. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

PreS‘There are certain subjects that, if not to be trivialized, need to be shown a certain amount of respect. In this book about what death is and the various ways of dealing with it, the dinosaur characters that were so enjoyable in the collaborators' Dinosaurs Travel (Little, 1988) come off as almost horrifyingly blasé. The author does stress the need for children to talk about death and the feelings that accompany the loss of a loved one, but the book's structure is flawed to a ruinous level. One moment the dinos are burying a pet hamster in the yard, and the next page shows the family trooping off to grandpa's funeral. Since all of the characters look similar, children may become easily confused. Even worse, some readers may find it offensive that the death of an animal isn't differentiated from that of a loved human being. Also, the illustrations are a problem. Somehow, bright and cheerful dinosaurs with cartoon dialogue balloons are not suited to the subject. There are many better titles on death for this age group, including Norma Simon's The Saddest Time (Albert Whitman, 1986) and Janice Cohn's I Had a Friend Named Peter (Morrow, 1987).‘Melissa Hudak, North Suburban District Library, Roscoe, IL

"Using the frank yet reassuring tack employed in the previous books, the author presents a balanced, comprehensive and age-appropriate explanation of why death occurs...and suggests sensible tactics for coping with the resulting loneliness, fright and anger. These astute collaborators provide a commendable service for grieving children and the adults in their lives."--Publishers Weekly

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