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Badger's Parting Gifts: A picture book to help children deal with death

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A gentle book about loss and grief and the importance sharing memories. It is often used to help bereaved children talk about how they are feeling. This is a poignant and touching story about a Badger who is very old and has accepted that he will soon die. His only worry is the effect it will have on his friends. The time arrives and his friends are, as badger feared, desperately upset. However in time they remember the valuable moments they spent with Badger and the pain begins to be surpassed by fond memories.

Celebrating the 35th anniversary of this quintessential and multi award-winning picture book about losing a loved one. Features a helpful reading guide from Child Bereavement UK that provides tips for reading Badger’s Parting Gifts with children and helping them better understand grief. Badger is getting old and knows he is soon going to die. He isn’t afraid of dying but he is concerned about how his friends will feel. He tells them that one day he will go down the long tunnel. The forest animals grieve for him all winter then in the spring talk about the good memories they had of Badger. I further feel that it’s a brilliant book to read to young children as it continually encourages them to think about the happy and positive aspects behind dealing with death. Initially Badgers friends are extremely upset and distraught by his loss but as time passes by they realise that it���s better to focus on the happy memories that they shared together. I think this is a key area of the book to explore with children when breaching this subject. This is a heart warming story that introduces grief, loss and the subject of death in a gentle way. Badger realises he is getting old and he sees his friends playing on the hill and he wishes he could join them. He is aware that he is approaching death and he hopes his friends won’t be too sad when he is gone. Badger has left his friends with some parting gifts which are fond memories that he hopes will bring them through their grief. The story describes the feelings of Badger’s friends now that Badger is no longer with them. Their grief seems endless to them and never ending, until they begin to remember all the great memories they have of their time with Badger. These memories have the ability to cheer Badger’s friends up and now when they remember Badger, they remember the good times and can’t help but to smile.There is so much to love about Susan Varley’s picture book. Her pen and ink, and watercolor illustrations are wonderful and teeming with affection. Badger’s Parting Gifts not only shows us that our deceased loved ones live on through warm and loving memories of them but also when we share with others the things they’ve taught us when they were still alive. One warm spring day Mole is walking on the hillside where he had last seen Badger and he wants to thank him for his gift. 'Thank you, Badger,' he says and he believes that Badger will hear him ... and somehow, Badger did. I think this is a brilliant book to read to a class of children as it explores a subject that can somewhat be difficult to breach. Due to the nature of the book and the way in which the story is portrayed I feel that it’s suitable for children in Key Stage One and perhaps the earlier stages of Key Stage Two. The way in which the story is written is key to suit the age range of children that I’ve suggested it’s suitable for. The story doesn’t just focus on the feelings that surround the touching subject of death but it additionally focuses on how the characters deal with the bereavement. From reading this text to children I feel that it’s a good way to approach the subject of death as every child will experience it within their life time. Due to this I think that the text can be used within a PSHE lesson or even within Religious Education. It is a sad beginning in that Badger, a dependable, reliable type, always ready to lend a helping paw, is very old and he knows that he will soon die. But he isn't afraid of death, his only concern is how his friends will feel when he is gone. He tries to ease their burden by telling them that someday soon he will be going down the Long Tunnel, as he euphemistically calls it, and he doesn't want them to be sad.

Dec. 30, 2011: I know this book was written to help children understand death, but it has helped me cope with my Dad's death. As the last of the snow melts, so do his friends' sadness and whenever Badger's name is mentioned, someone always remembers another story that makes them all smile. He had left them with a wonderful parting gift - not to be sad and to remember him with fondness. That night Mole cries himself to sleep while it snows outside. The following day his friends gather and wonder what they should do as they try to console themselves with the fact that Badger had told them not to be unhappy. But they find it difficult not to be. This is such a charming book and so sympathetically written and so beautifully illustrated by the author. Badger’s Parting Gifts provides young children with a means to understand grief’ CHILD BEREAVEMENT UKA suggested lesson idea may involve the class teacher initially reading the story to the class of children and then discussing the themes that are explored in the book through a circle time approach. This would then give the opportunity for the children to explore the feelings and emotions that are involved when an individual or family are experiencing a similar situation. This may then help children to grasp and have a clearer understanding of the sensitive subject matter of death. I definitely feel that due to the sensitivity of the subject being explored in the text it’s key that a similar approach is taken by the class teacher. Badgers Parting Gifts is an award winning children’s book which explores the importance and value of friendship in times of need. It tells the tale of a very vulnerable badger who knows just about everything. Towards the end of his life Badger leaves a note for his friends, which reads “Gone down the long tunnel. Bye Bye Badger.” The following day his group of forest companions discover that one of their dearest friends has sadly passed away. The story then continues to explore the ideas behind how Badger’s friends come to terms with the loss of a dear friend. This is explored in a very gentle and touching approach towards dealing with loss and mourning.

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