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Remembering Crystal Hardcover – May 1, 2010

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Remembering Crystal + The Invisible String + Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: NorthSouth (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735823006
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735823006
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—Crystal, an old tortoise, and Zelda, a goose, are best friends. They have traveled together and shared their fears, hopes, and dreams. When Crystal disappears from the garden and it's evident that she has died, the young goose revisits their friendship and discovers that loved ones live on in our hearts. Charming but static pen-and-ink drawings of the characters capture the essence of the short narrative sentences, though Loth's depictions of abstract concepts like "fear" and "dreams" do nothing to extend the text. More a greeting card than a book, this offering addresses a tough subject, but fails to develop the characters enough to be fully engaging. Alan Durant's Always and Forever (Harcourt, 2004) is a better choice.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Zelda is a little goose who enjoys spending time with her friend Crystal. But even though turtles live long, Crystal is growing old. Soon their time together, swimming, reading, and talking, is over. When the other geese tell Zelda that Crystal has died, she doesn’t believe it. She looks everywhere, but at last she must accept that Crystal is gone. As Zelda remembers all that Crystal taught her about the world and the good times they shared, she realizes that her friend will always be in her heart. Although there are other books for young ones that deal with the topic of death, this gets high points for the simplicity of the text—a few lines per page—and the handsomeness of the design. Buff, mottled pages serve as the background for illustrations that are elegant in their spareness. The characters, deeply colored and outlined in ink, dominate the spreads, and despite the somber subject, moments of humor escape into the art. Like Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog (2010), this story of a final friendship touches the heart. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Darcey on June 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Very sweet and poignant book that talks about death, loss and grief, appropriate for young children. I could see how this book might help little kids cope with complex topics, whether its a pet's death or a family member. The illustrations are adorable and comforting, and the lessons are clear without introducing any specific faith-based details.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Francine B. Edwards on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book 2 years ago from a bookstore in my area. One of my students had just passed away and I was looking for something to use to initiate a delicate and caring conversation on the subject of death and dying. This was not in a special section of the book store; I just looked in the children's section and found it. My students at the time were developmentally disabled so I needed a story that was commensurate with their level of understanding. There are two main characters who share everything together and one day, one of them is nowhere to be found. The survivor looks for the lost friend and in the end realizes that as long as you remember someone, you are never alone. I made this recent purchase for a family of sisters and brother (age 5-9) whose mother died in February. I would recommend reading the story in your own words using real-life examples to foster understanding.
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Format: Hardcover
Zelda, a goose, got on her scooter to go visit her friend Crystal, a very old turtle. They were best friends and did everything together. They loved to read stories like "The Pancake Affair." Crystal would hold the pages while Zelda read to her. They both put on their goggles and flippers and swam. Of course Crystal had four flippers while Zelda had only two. They did things like get out a map and "took trips together." They were best friends who shared and talked about everything together because that is what friends do together.

One day when Zelda went to the garden, there were only a few leaves flitting around the cabbages, but no Crystal. Three other geese gently tried to tell Zelda what happened, but she wouldn't listen. "She had a long and happy life. Now it was time for her to die." Zelda refused to listen to them and simply thought her friend was hiding. She called to her and began to search any of the places Crystal could have gone for "the highest mountain" to the "deepest ocean." She looked everywhere she thought her best friend could be, but couldn't find her. Would Zelda ever accept the fact that Crystal had died?

This is a gentle and well done story about the death of a special friend and the grieving process that followed. Many children need an opportunity to discuss the death of a pet, a friend, or relative and this book is an excellent way to broach the inescapable fact of death. Death is a difficult subject to discuss with a child, but they do need to understand what goes on. The book was very tasteful and may hold some comfort for a young child. The artwork was beautiful and expressive. If you need to discuss this difficult fact of life to a young child, this is one book you may wish to consider.
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