Maybe Dying is like Becoming a Butterfly

Maybe Dying is like Becoming a Butterfly


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"Straightforward, gentle, useful, and engaging. " - Kirkus Reviews

When Grandpa suggests that a caterpillar might die if Christopher puts it in a jar.

“Are you going to die, Grandpa?”

“Someday, sweetheart. But I hope not too soon.”

Their simple exchange covers a lot of philosophical ground. Grandpa allows that “no one really knows” what happens after death, but he tells Christopher that some people think of heaven (“a place without sadness or war”), others of rebirth (“each time, you get wiser”), and others of “nothing” (“the same as before you were born”). The pair discusses the whys of death (“dying is part of life”), birth (“to learn all sorts of things”), and feelings of fear or comfort about dying.

An important picture book that gives children free rein to express their questions, fears, thoughts, and ideas about death. For children ages 5 and up. Including an epilogue by the grief therapist Rebecca Dabekaussen, with tips on how to discuss this difficult but inevitable subject with children.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605375052
Publisher: Clavis
Publication date: 10/29/2019
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 11.42(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)
Age Range: 5 - 9 Years

About the Author

Pimm van Hest (1975) was born in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. After having worked as a teacher for one year he started his studies "psychology" when he met his present partner. Soon it became clear they wanted to adopt a child. In 2007 their daughter Moira came into their lives. Moira's arrival was the inspiration for his first book.

Lisa Brandenburg is an illustrator living and working in Amstelveen in the Netherlands. She has a wide range of artistic interests and loves challenge and change. Lisa is curious about, and inspired by, what happens in the world around us. Lisa is married and the proud mother of a son and a daughter.


"My name is Pimm van Hest and I like to write special stories about themes that interest me personally. While writing Everywhere and All Around I met Rebecca Dabekaussen. She’s a mourning therapist who helps children who lost someone. Rebecca told me how important it is to teach children how to deal with death at a young age. Make them familiar with death. Make them think, talk, philosophize about it. There are lots of books about the inevitable theme of loss, but unfortunately very few books about the death that’s ahead of us. That’s why I wrote Maybe Dying Is Like Becoming a Butterfly, a story about the intimate, honest and philosophical conversation between a boy and his granddad about dying and other questions that relate to death. The book, which is beautifully illustrated by Lisa Brandenburg, invites parents to talk about death with their children."

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Maybe Dying is like Becoming a Butterfly 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LawladyCase 26 days ago
This book is about explaining dying to children. The book is full of examples and possibilities of what happens when you die. The book is designed for children age 5 and up. The concepts, with many ideas of what happens, are varied. It is difficult to read. The writing is clunky. Too many contrasting ideas are touched on but not explained. I believe this book is good for children who are experiencing a loss to assist with their confusion. However, I have seen books that explain a concept or two in a better way. I tend to think this book is more confusing than satisfying. Others may love the book; it is just not for me. I received an ARC from Clavis Publishing through NetGalley. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review.