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Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying Paperback


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Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying + The Invisible String + I Miss You: A First Look at Death (First Look at Books)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Magination Pr; 2 edition (November 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591470722
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591470724
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

It is nine months later, and my children still love to read this book.
dt
One of the reasons I selected this book was that it was one of the few stories for younger children that didn't involve a parent.
Ann Marie Jones
It is a book meant to help children who know someone who is dying or has died from an illness.
G. S. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By G. S. Miller on April 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I originally bought this book to read to my children, on the plane ride home to Michigan, to help them deal with the soon to be death of my father. I had read them a few books about dying and those books were about teaching them it was ok to have all their feelings. That was what I was expecting when I read this on the plane. I was hoping I was giving them some more help in dealing with their feelings, while I (although I hadn't known it at the time) wasn't even thinking about my own. What I ended up getting, though, was a story that was so beautiful and breathtakingly comforting that I was helped, along with my children.

When my father died and we were waiting for the coroner, I told my mother about the book I had just read the children called Gentle Willow. I was hoping that it's metaphorical story would bring her some of the same comfort it brought me. My mom made me get it right then and she read it while we waited. My mom could not believe how the story was just like my dad's situation. When he was in his coma he was like the catapillar who was in a dark place, but with his death he would be well again and in heaven and he would now have the gift of becoming the butterfly. This thought and story brought my mom so much peace she ordered copies to give all her friends. She has since commissioned a glass artist to do a mosaic of the Gentle Willow and the yellow butterfly to be done and hung in her church. There was actually an article in the newspaper about the Mosaic and how the book, Gentle Willow, helped her during the death of my father.

As far as how it helped my children, they are 18 and 19 now and they still read Gentle Willow when someone has died.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By H. Severence on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love this book. I bought this book for my 3 yr old to help explain death to him after my husband passed away. It was perfect because it explained about being sick and not being able to be fixed sometimes. This was similar to what we were going through with my husband who had cancer. Our son always knew his father has being sick and going to the doctor...so this helped to explain.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By woerner on February 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
My father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I got this book for my 9 year old daughter. It is her favorite, and I love it too. It is very gentle and calm and sweet. A story about dying and how life goes on. I love it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dt on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
In the last months of my husband's battle against cancer, I struggled to find ways to talk about death and dying with our young preschool-aged children. I checked out numerous books from the library--about cancer, about death and dying, about coping--but they all lacked the depth of compassion that this sweet story supplies. As a parent, I appreciated the gentleness yet seriousness with which this difficult topic is discussed as well as the fact that the non-human characters and the strong reliance on metaphor allowed the story to be transferable to a variety of situations (my children were unable to relate to stories about the death of grandparents or pets, as devastating as those situations can be in their own right). This was the only story that I found that my children wanted to read again and again, and that touched them on an emotional level--but more than that, it opened up a way for all of us to discuss the issue further, on our own terms, in our own time, with respect to our own situation. It is nine months later, and my children still love to read this book. Even when we haven't read it for a while, they often refer to it when their questions about why their daddy had to die bubble to the surface. They use the metaphor as a way to ask/frame their questions. And I can use it (or extend it as needed) in the same way. It is a common and easy reference point for ongoing discussion about a topic that sometimes is too emotionally difficult to approach head-on.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By school counsel on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a very sweet story. It would be best used on a child who is able to draw analogies. I am a school counselor who often deals with children in the public school setting who are not able to relate such stories to their lives. However, it is a very good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By allsmilesinkc on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i bought this for my four year old to prepare her for her Nana's pending death after a long battle with cancer. It was much to long for her and didn't hold her attention very well. Better for older kids I would say 7 and over.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amie C. Myrick on November 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Creative Interventions for Bereaved Children

I really love using this book in my therapy work with children, but I think it's one that parents can use with their children at home as well. Most of the children I work with are having difficulty expressing feeling such as anger, for fear that they will upset a family member or not be able to control their feelings. The gentle way in which this book introduces negative feelings allows for the start of conversations about the many feelings that accompany death but also focuses on cherishing memories and supporting those who are dying.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By K. Carroll on July 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
My daughter enjoyed the story greatly. i wouldn't say it completely gave her an understanding of death but she knows that when you die you don't come back from where ever you went. this help a lot considering my mother just passed 3 months ago and my daughter is still talking about it.
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