Many times, situations arise in our lives that are beyond our children's understandings. For example, roughly 6 years ago, I suffered a late miscarriage, something that is very difficult for children to understand. Where did the baby go? How was it still in mommy's belly but was no longer going to be a part of our family? We also have been tying to prepare the children for the loss of a beloved by very elderly family member. Sometimes, it's easier to find the answers to these types of questions through an already prepared story that gently touches on those types of topics.
A Boy and His Dog
In this 40 page book, we see the relationship between a boy and his dog as they go about a typical day. From waking up, hunting for frogs, playing tug of war, splashing in mud puddles, to taking a bath and going to sleep, only repeat the process, A Boy and His Dog could represent any little boy and his favorite furry companion.
Written by Kayla Jarmon, this book features full color illustrations by Piper Miru. The text is pretty simplistic and written at an early elementary level (my kids were able to read it with no issues at a 3rd and 4th grade reading level). Out of the three books we reviewed, this one appealed to them the most.
This 70 page book is the first book in the "Discussion Book Series" written by Kayla Jarmon and illustrated by Piper Miru.
I'll be honest, none of us cared much for this particular book. The concept is cute - a conversation between an unborn baby and God, showing that God is with us even in the womb and never leaves us. However, the execution of this particular story just didn't appeal to me or the kids. There's way too much going on that distract from the main focus of the story and something about the tone of the text bugged me. The kids got bored with it fairly quickly but it did provide a good discussion about God is always with us and that he has known us even before our conception.
Dying Is Part of This World
The final book written by Kayla Jarmon and also illustrated by Piper Miru is the second book of the Discussion Series entitled Dying is Part of this World. This 58 page book is written in a different format from the other two books - while the first two are written as story books, this book is broken into 7 chapters. Each chapter roughly 6-8 pages long and is followed Biblical verses that supply reference to statements made in the text. At the end of each chapter is a page of discussion questions to help guide a discussion between the parent and the child and discuss topics such as Christian believed regarding life after death.
This particular book is written at a higher reading level than the previous books. Considering the topic of discussion and the higher reading level of the text, I would say this book would be better for older children, possibly early middle school. The illustrations included in the book also reflect this book being written for an older targeted audience as they are simple black and white line drawings at the start of each chapter. I did, however, share it with my kids as I thought that it would be good for a discussion about death and dying to help prepare them for the inevitable loss of their beloved Great-Grandmaw. This book does a good job explaining why we, as Christians, should not fear death.
For those readers who are Non-Believers, both of the two Discussion series books are written from a strong Christian point of view and support Christian doctrine with Scripture to back up the material. As a Christian, I do appreciate and value that outlook but I do mention it for those who might not share my beliefs. The Boy and his Dog, while a very cute story, does not necessarily hold any religious value to it and is just a really cute story in regards to a boy and his dog and would be enjoyed by anyone.
To learn more about books by author Kayla Jarmon, visit her website. You can also find her on the following social media sites:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kaylajarmonauthor/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaylajarmon
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaylajarmon/
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