Water Bugs and Dragonflies | Explaining Death to Young Children [50th Anniversary Edition] (Stickney)

Water Bugs and Dragonflies | Explaining Death to Young Children [50th Anniversary Edition] (Stickney)

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50th Anniversary Edition

"I don't know" is an honest admission. But "I believe" gives our children confidence in a future that can be anticipated. 

Over fifty years ago, Doris Stickney published these words in a magazine article, after watching adults struggle to talk with children about death, following the tragic death of a neighborhood child.

Celebrating the wisdom of Stickney's perspective and the story's ongoing impact, the 50th anniversary edition of Water Bugs and Dragonflies includes the original magazine article from 1970 as well as a second article she wrote about her own cancer diagnosis, which concluded:

It's as simple as this: I can withdraw inside myself, pull down the shades and wait. Or I can open the curtains and see what the day promises

A Story for Hard Questions

"Water Bugs and Dragonflies is a lovely narrative. Beautiful illustrations support the wonder and beauty of transformations found in both nature and human experience." 
—Catherine Maresca, Center for Children and Theology

Talking to children about death can be hard. Water Bugs and Dragonflies, a perennial bestseller, can help you to answer their questions.

Doris Stickney tells the story of a small colony of water bugs living below the surface of a pond. Whenever a bug leaves the pond, those left behind are faced with the mystery of their absence. Stickney invites children into the question of their absence and offers hope for the future.

About the Author and Artist

Doris Stickney first published this story in an article titled "Death," in the magazine Colloquy (December 1970). It was revised and expanded in 1982 to become the book, Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children, which is read around the world.

Meredith Gould brings whimsy and watercolor to the 50th anniversary edition of Water Bugs and Dragonflies. She is also the illustrator of Slug and Snail Search for Home from The Pilgrim Press. Follow Meredith's work at meredithgouldarts.com.

View the catalog of Water Bugs and Dragonflies products.

Hardcover: 8" x 8"
ISBN 978-0-8298-1834-5
2022

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