The Dragonfly Door

The Dragonfly Door

4.7 4
by John Adams, Barbara L. Gibson

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While Nym slept, she heard Lea's voice saying, "Follow me, Nym. I'm going to show you where I am." "Will I see you again?" Nym asked. "Only when it's time for you to die too," Lea replied. "You won't see me in the marsh ever again. But let me show you what I will look like the next time you see me. Here, close your eyes." Nym closed her eyes. "Now look at me,"


While Nym slept, she heard Lea's voice saying, "Follow me, Nym. I'm going to show you where I am." "Will I see you again?" Nym asked. "Only when it's time for you to die too," Lea replied. "You won't see me in the marsh ever again. But let me show you what I will look like the next time you see me. Here, close your eyes." Nym closed her eyes. "Now look at me," Lea said. Nym opened her eyes and saw ...

Lea and Nym are two insect friends who live underwater in a marsh. They play and have fun. Sometimes, they argue. Then one night, Lea does not come home. Nym searches the marsh for her, but Lea is gone. While sleeping, Nym discovers that her friend has died. Through a vision or dream, Nym receives a comforting glimpse of what Lea has become. Follow the struggles that Nym endures when her friend disappears. Experience the beauty and hope in Lea's transformation and in the natural cycles of life. In the process, adults can express their views about life and death while helping children learn about loss and change.

Editorial Reviews

Armchair Interviews
The Dragonfly Door is both informational and spiritual. The story is followed up with information on the life cycle of a dragonfly for those craving an educational focus. The core story is a message of healing for children coping with the loss of a loved one. Reaching out to children using the science of nature to address a sensitive and difficult topic, The Dragonfly Door is an invaluable tool for communication during a sensitive period. Adams realistically portrays the process of grieving as Nym doesn't magically become better overnight when she receives Lea's visit. It takes time and new friends, but the message is that deep down, she knows she will be okay. It is also a beautiful addition to a child's bookshelf with its peaceful, yet colorful illustrations by Barbara Leonard Gibson. When purchasing the book, Feather Rock Books donates a portion of the proceeds to The Dragonfly Organization, a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers dedicated to comforting those suffering from loss. Armchair Interviews says: Unique look at grieving and loss.
—Sabrina Williams
Midwest Book Review
The debut children's picturebook of author John Adams, The Dragonfly Door dares to confront serious topics - of loss, death, grieving, and transition. Nym and Lea are two close insect friends, but one day after Nym yells at Lea, Lea disappears. Nym searches everywhere for her missing friend, and can't find her. At last Nym falls asleep, grief-stricken, and finally hears Lea's voice one more time. "'I died and went to this special place,' Lea said, her voice full of love. 'But I didn't want you to leave,' Nym pleaded. 'I'm sorry I yelled.' 'I know you're sorry,' Lea assured her. 'I left because my water nymph body died while I was picking flowers in the reeds, not because you yelled.'" The warm, emotional colors of award-winning artist Barbara L. Gibson illustrate this highly recommended picturebook for sharing the bittersweet realities of life with young people.

Children's Literature
Nym and Lea were good friends. They were both nymphs, which is to say they were both animals that lived under the water and turned into dragonflies. One day, Nym yelled at Lea, then spent the day playing with the tadpoles. When she returned to their nest, Lea was gone. Nym could not find Lea anywhere. The following night, Nym had a dream that Lea told her she had died and turned into a dragonfly. This part of the book is meant to help parents talk about grieving and death with young children, but it is a little bit confusing because Lea told Nym that she would be a dragonfly the next time she saw her. This could be helpful for children who are dealing with death, but the adult reading the story would need to explain more about what happened than the text in the story. The end of the book contains a two-page diagram that describes the lifecycle of a dragon fly with words and illustrations. Reviewer: Nicole Peterson

Product Details

Feather Rock Books Inc
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.50(d)
AD630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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The Dragonfly Door 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book to read to my granddaughter who is four years old. We have had several deaths in our family recently and I wanted a book that would help us help her understand and not be afraid of death. I love how the author has the insect who has passed come visit the one still here in a kind of dream and how the insect is able to show how beautiful it will look when they see each other again. I found the story very touching and would definitely recommend it.
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
The Dragonfly Door is a recipient of the prestigious Mom's Choice Award. The Mom's Choice Awards honors excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. An esteemed panel of judges includes education, media and other experts as well as parents, children, librarians, performing artists, producers, medical and business professionals, authors, scientists and others. A sampling of the panel members includes: Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy-winner, professor and founder of PBS's Reading Rainbow; Julie Aigner-Clark, Creator of Baby Einstein and The Safe Side Project; Jodee Blanco, New York Times best-selling Author; LeAnn Thieman, motivational speaker and coauthor of seven Chicken Soup For The Soul books; and Tara Paterson, Certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards. Parents and educators look for the Mom's Choice Awards seal in selecting quality materials and products for children and families.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
For those trying to describe the sense of loss to young ones, THE DRAGONFLY DOOR is a perfect book to aid in the discussion.

Nym and Lea are two water nymphs that have grown up together. When a the mother lays her eggs, the parents leave the eggs to fend for themselves. So without parents, Nym and Lea have had to rely on each other. Lea is older than Nym and watches out for her.

One day, Nym gets upset at Lea for her constant reminders, such as cleaning the mud from her legs before getting into their bed of leaves. So Nym goes off in a huff, leaving Lea behind.

Wanting to apologize to Nym, Lea goes in search of Nym's favorite water flowers. But on her journey, she becomes short of breath, and doesn't return home.

When night falls, Nym becomes worried, and spends the night alone. The next day, while searching for Lea, Nym becomes increasingly concerned. Still unable to find Lea, at night, while asleep, Nym hears Lea's voice. It calms Nym and tells her to follow her so that she can see where Lea has gone.

Though the book can explain death to small children, the story can also be more than that. At the back of the book is an explanation of the dragonfly lifecycle. It helps explain how things do not stay the same, that things are always changing. Though it seems like Lea has died, she has really gone on to better things; in this example, she has changed into a dragonfly.
storiesforchildren More than 1 year ago
Lea and Nym are two water nymph friends who enjoy playing together in the marsh where they live. After a slight falling out, Lea, a year older, decides to swim to the edge of the marsh to find Nym's favorite flowers which grow in the tall reeds with the hope that she and Nym can make up. However, when Nym, also wanting to reconcile, returns to the home that they share after playing tag with tadpoles, Lea is not there and does not return that night. The next day, Nym goes in search of Lea but finally discovers that her friend has passed from the life that they knew together and become a dragonfly. Exactly where has Lea gone, and what does Nym see?
John Adams and his wife Clea co-founded Feather Rock Books with the goal of publishing thoughtful and inspiring stories for children. This book was written specifically to help parents express their views about life and death. The publishers say, "Because young minds are impressionable, we recommend that a parent or other responsible adult read this book first to determine its suitability for individual children." I appreciate that. However, I believe that the book deals with the subject in a very sensitive way that should be quite helpful in providing support for a child who has experienced a loss similar to that of Nym. It is a somewhat sad but truly hopeful story that I rate as excellent.