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Posted March 14, 2010
In many instances, a child's first experience with the death of a loved one is when a pet dies. This can be an emotionally overwhelming time for a child who has to deal with new emotions while coming to terms with such a devastating loss. In his children's book, 'Kate, The Ghost Dog,' author Wayne L. Wilson, tells the story of the emotional journey of a young girl's grieving process after the death of her dog, and her struggle to overcome her heartache and move forward.
Aleta is a fun loving happy young girl full of energy and a passion for life. One day, she returns home after school with two of her best friends to discover that her dog, Kate, had died at the foot of her bed. After Kate's death, Aleta's blissful life changes to that of despair. The story that unfolds chronicles Aleta's struggle with her deep sadness. She goes through the stages of the grief process - shock, denial, anger, despair that includes withdrawing from life, and finally acceptance.
'Kate, The Ghost Dog' is a heartwarming children's story that reveals important life lessons about helping a child cope with the death of a pet. The writing style is clear, consistent, and written as much like a young child thinks and speaks. It is a story that children will be able to easily follow and understand. The questions Aleta asks are common questions that most children will ask. The thoughts and emotional struggles of a young girl's traumatic loss are depicted in a thoughtful manner. As well, the charming pictures enhance the story and make it even more enjoyable to read.
'Kate, The Ghost Dog' is a heartwarming story that will help children overcome their grief after the loss of a pet. It will also help parents learn how to be a valuable support system during their own child's grieving process. The story will teach children about grieving, how to understand death, and how to celebrate a life instead of mourning a death. I highly recommend 'Kate, The Ghost Dog' as a story parents can read with their children or children can read on their own. It will help children learn how to move forward, but not forget their pet.
Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services
Posted March 11, 2010
Aleta is a bright, free-spirited, young girl who lives with her parents and younger brother. She has two great friends she loves spending her time with, and even has aspirations on becoming a veterinarian someday. On a most terrible day, Aleta returns home to discover that the family dog, Kate, has died. Although Aleta does understand that animals can't possibly live forever, she is completely devastated over the loss of the dog, and doesn't want to accept the truth at first. As the days pass, Aleta goes through her own grief process that includes isolation so she doesn't have to talk about it, to anger and even pretending that Kate's ghost has returned to the family. Her pain also spills into school as she breaks down and cries in class, and Aleta doesn't want to participate in a memorial for Kate, nor does she want to play with her two best friends. Thankfully, with the help of her family, uncle, and close friends, Aleta is able to overcome her grief and turn her raw feelings into positive memories of Kate.
Author Wayne Wilson, coupled with illustrator Soud, present an admirable story on grief and pet loss for children that not only perfectly identifies many of the emotions children can experience during such an event, but also points out the equally valuable ways in which the healing process can, and does, occur. This story is eloquently written, flows well, and keeps the reader's attention throughout, while the illustrations are gently sprinkled amongst key points in the story, rather than having them included on every page, which is often seen in more simple picture books. The book stresses the importance of building on family support, and creating positive memories of times spent with a beloved pet, which can be equally transformed into human loss too. Kate, the Ghost Dog also includes a summarization of helpful tips on how to cope with pet loss that can be a useful tool for not only children, but also adults.
Quill says: Kate, the Ghost Dog is a positive book that respectfully discusses the grief process for children, and is a beneficial tool for both parents and schools alike.
Posted January 29, 2010
Reviewed by: Beth Adams
Title: Kate, the Ghost Dog: Coping with the Death of a Pet
In Kate, the Ghost Dog: Coping With the Death of a Pet, Wayne L. Wilson delicately weaves the threads of family support into a fabric of love and understanding to help a young girl cope with the loss of her beloved pet.
What is noticeably apparent is the way in which the book deals with the maturing feelings of a young girl becoming a young adult. Every child feels at times isolation and when some disappointment occurs the need to reach out to other family members is weighed against the desire to be left alone to deal with the personal loss. It is the breaking down of the personal barrier and opening the young girl's feelings with the loving support of a functional family which is most enjoyable and well achieved in Wilson's writings. The book, by design, shows others how to open themselves to the loving support of their family, and is a model for all types of losses, whether a pet or even a family member.
Beautifully illustrated by Soud, the book is gilded with just the right amount of imagery. Not too much to make it an overpowering picture book, and done with a style incorporating little tidbits and type style highlights. The book is a pleasure to the eyes and an easy, fast read. It certainly made me think of the loss I had with a pet awhile ago, and gives an uplifting message.
I recommend this for all family libraries and elementary schools. This book can be a gift to ones who recently suffered a loss of a pet or to ones that currently love a pet, enabling them to appreciate the days they have together. It shows that a pet's love stays with a person forever.
Posted January 29, 2010
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Posted February 5, 2010
No text was provided for this review.