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on June 27, 1999
A young woman read this short children's book at our hospice memorial service. This event brought together people of all ages and from a variety of religious traditions. Such a gathering requires a selection of materials that will speak to many, while offending no one. The author's gentle story speaks to the profoundness of the death experience in a way that leaves the reader or listener joyful. This joy is a great gift for those who have experienced loss. I highly recommend that each household, even each elementary school, keep a copy on hand. It can serve as a deeply appropriate focus for any kind of memorial gathering, or for classroom reading to children when a loss has occurred.
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on February 23, 2006
This little tiny book is a wonderful tale for small children about the difficulty of knowing what lies beyond the grave. In the most delicate and gentle way, the authors use the metaphor of the dragonfly larva, who live below the surface of the water, and the adult dragonflies, to illustrate the notion of someone going beyond our sight, to a marvelous place. They can't return to tell us about it. we just have to wait our turn. The authors' notes help to provide a spiritual context for talking to a young child about the death of someone close. I am an Episcopalian, and found the language and theology very congruent with our tradition.
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on October 13, 2004
my husband and i were told this story while we were in the hospital after our daughter was stillborn. i loved how this story talked about life after death but didnt talk about heaven, jusst a "better place." it also talked about why people that die cant come back. this is a pocket book, small and paperback. i am getting a tattoo of a dragonfly above my heart in memory of my daughter because of this story. i'm glad i found it in book form. i bought 3. one for each set of grandparents and one for us to keep.
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on November 11, 2000
We read this book before and after telling our 3 year old daughter that someone in our family had died. Then we added our own religious interpretation that our loved one is now in Heaven with God, and we can't see her, but we can remember her, just like waterbugs and dragonflies. I'd recommend having this on hand to help the first time someone your child knows passes on. It is a beautiful and simple metaphor which would be appropriate for agnostics as well as most religious beliefs.
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on June 6, 2000
We looked at book after book to help our six year old son process and understand the death of his dear six year old friend. He was scared and angry and sad. Many of the books we read dealt with those feelings, and that was helpful. This book, however, dealt more with the unknown aspect of death and used a metaphor that was uplifting and simple. The one way transition of a water bug (those of us living) to a dragonfly (those who have passed on) is tangible to a young child and the light airy world of the dragonfly is not frightening. Our family is Jewish, but we first read this book when we borrowed it from a Christian library. The last page of the book is a prayer which could easily be omitted by a non-religious family. The book would not lose it's relevance by omitting the prayer.
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on July 1, 2006
With I first bought this book, - I thought to myself "The Jehovah's 'Watchtower' is bigger than this!" Doubtful this teeny tiny thing would be of benefit at all.... So many of the books I have bought on this delicate and heartwrenching subject are far too scientific, cold, and frank in their language -- too few support a Religious child's upbringing; to BELIEVE that death is not the END, their love LIVES ON, and WILL be with them again.... And finding so many lacking a message of faith only discouraged me further to hold onto my own.

And all these others were bigger, fancier, far more artwork, many more pages - - But "Great things come in small packages"...BELIEVE IT!

I read it aloud just after I purchased it to a friend as we stood waiting for coffee - and found very quickly I had an audience - the patrons in line and the employees behind the counter were listening to me read, to my embarrassment - seemed to reach down into each of us, and touch us all in some way or another. The kind employee confided in me when he handed me my coffee that he had lost his girlfriend to Leukemia 5 years ago,-how she suffered, - how HE STILL suffered... And he THANKED me for reading that outloud - ...and then, recognized me as the girl ALWAYS in the store, ALWAYS with tears streaming down my face, for hours, until closing - drinking coffee and kneeling on my knees in the aisles, SEARCHING every bible, every Religious text, books by every psychic and every therapist --Searching for SOMETHING, and he looked in my eyes and said he always knew what it was.....

I bought this book because my first and only love, left me a widow at 26, just two weeks before Thanksgiving, dying beside me in the car on the way to his mother's house- I thought he was sleeping, - but he had suffered an annuerisym, at age 30. My great heartbreak is I have no children to share this with of ours; we were trying to be "smart" and wanted to have everything ' ready ':( - But his nieces and nephews were so very attatched so very close to him, - I am desperate to comfort them -- even though I have yet to find it myself......

To my surprise, - these few pages seemed to have brought some tiny spark of life back into me.

I was never expecting what I intended to ease these children's hurt, instill hope and strengthen their waning faith in this tragedy - would have done this for ME.

There are even prayers and passages from the bible in the back, and an epilogue as touching as the story itself.

This will prove to be a great and cherished blessing, for whomever you give it to.

God bless The Stickneys for sharing this beautiful tale. And God bless you and comfort you if you are searching, too.
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on February 28, 2005
This book is a "must have" for anyone going through the loss of a loved one...not just for children! A friend recommended this book to us after the death of our 9 yr. old son in Aug. 2003. It has been a great source of comfort for our entire family! We have also started collecting items with dragonflies on them; and surprisingly enough, they are everywhere! Our son's gravestone even has a dragonfly lasered on it, as a reminder of the meaning behind the book...we are sure we will see him again, when we "turn into a dragonfly".
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on May 10, 2010
I thought this was a nice story and my 6 year old daughter enjoyed it. However I think this story helps explain death only if you want to convey the notion that when we die, we all go to heaven and everything is just great. It didn't really address the nitty gritty of death and dying - like feelings of loss, or maybe a less "heavenly" ending like when you die, you die. It's definitely got a religious bent to it, but not in an overt way - just in a "we all go to heaven" sort of way. It's a nice story regardless of your personal beliefs. It's not offensive at all. However, the book does not necessarily explain death and dying, at least to me.
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on October 4, 2007
When I first received this book, I thought there is no way this is going to help explain anything and boy was I wrong. My husband of 5 years passed away very sudden and unexpectedly and I bought this book for our two sons who are 4 and 2. I read the story to them when I first received the book. The whole concept of how the water bug's body changed once he became a dragon fly and how he could not go back into the water was excellent. My 4 year old evey requests me to read this book to him. The prayer at the end is awesome. THANKS from a worried mother!
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on May 24, 2005
I was introduced to this book last summer. I purchased a copy for myself and for my mother - both of us storytellers. In November she passed away. I have since given this book along with dragonfly jewelry and keychains to all of our family as a way to explain and keep my mother close to our hearts. Our ministers also asked for copies to help when dealing with the children.
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