cover image When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death

Laurie Krasny Brown, Laurene Krasny Brown, Laurie Krasney Brown. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-10917-8

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.)