On his last day, Old Turtle goes for one last swim and takes one last breath, then the sea takes him back. His friends are sad and miss him, but they remember stories from his life: moments when he was brave, kind, funny and smart. They remember these stories and pass them on and, in doing so, Old Turtle is never forgotten.
I can’t begin to say how much this book touched me. To begin, it’s a beautiful book: the undersea art is breathtaking. The text is easy to read aloud, and the length is fine for baby bookworms. But most of all, this is a meaningful way to teach children about death; not what happens to the person who died (which can vary wildly based on what your beliefs are), but what happens to those left behind, and how they cope with loss. The message that those who leave us live on in our memories is a powerful and comforting one.
On a personal note, JJ’s great-grandfather (my grandfather) passed on a few months ago, not long after we lost my grandmother and my father. For JJ, all she will know of these remarkable people are the stories of them that we share with her. As a parent, and the current keeper of these stories, the notion is comforting, and hopeful. This is a beautiful book, and Baby Bookworm approved.