Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children


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When the death of a relative, a friend, or a pet happens or is about to happen . . . how can we help a child to understand?
Lifetimes is a moving book for children of all ages, even parents too. It lets us explain life and death in a sensitive, caring, beautiful way. Lifetimes tells us about beginnings. And about endings. And about living in between. With large, wonderful illustrations, it tells about plants. About animals. About people. It tells that dying is as much a part of living as being born. It helps us to remember. It helps us to understand.
Lifetimes . . . a very special, very important book for you and your child. The book that explains—beautifully—that all living things have their own special Lifetimes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553344028
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1983
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 57,972
Product dimensions: 8.24(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.17(d)
Lexile: AD570L (what's this?)
Age Range: 5 - 10 Years

About the Author

Bryan Mellonie is the author of Lifetimes.

Robert Ingpen is an award-winning illustrator of numerous books, including The Encyclopedia of Events That Changed the World, The Encyclopedia of Ideas That Changed the World, and The Encyclopedia of Mysterious Places.

Customer Reviews

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Lifetimes 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An exquisitely illustrated and plainly written book, it speaks clearly to the children about a complicated subject. I highly recommend it for all home and school libraries for ages three and up. It should be used as part of a comprehensive set of books on biological and familial concepts as it is not meant to answer all of a child's questions on life cycles, grief, death or dying. I know that eventually my child will start asking questions about death, and I'd like to know what resources are available. I was particularly drawn to this title because it can be tailored to a variety of religious belief systems. I disagree with a previous poster who stated that this book teaches that there is no afterlife. The way I read it, the book doesn't take a stand either way. Being "alive" on earth is not the same thing as "eternal life" in the religions I am familiar with. No religion I know of denies that earthly bodies are alive and then they die. This is NOT a book about emotions or stages of death. This is a book about the rhythm of life and death for all creatures, for everything that is born. One of the best parts of the book is its emphasis on what a lifetime is, and how it is framed by birth and death, and that inbetween those "markers" is what is important. It explains that different creatures have different life spans, and that this aspect of nature is neither fair nor unfair. It simply is.    
craigsdickson More than 1 year ago
I looked around for a book to help my wife and I discuss the concept of death with our 2 year old when his grandma passed away recently. Most of the books in the kid section were way too advanced. This is the only one I found that I was comfortable even trying to read to him. After a few reads he seemed to have a good understanding of the book. However the book could be improved in a couple of ways. First the cadence of the writing and starting a thought on one page and finishing it on the next can make it awkward to read, especially if you read slowly and talk about the illustrations with your child. Secondly there is an injured butterfly shown early in the book who has died. But later on there is a healthy butterfly shown - this confuses my child as he thinks the butterfly got better. This undermines the message of the first butterfly - that sometimes things get so badly hurt that they cannot be repaired.
PitcherBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lovely art by Ingpen. Written in very simple language for young children I would say maybe 3-7. Yet I would give this to any grieving person of any age. The soothing repetition of there is a beginning and an end and in between is life ... beautifully illustrated for various plants and animals... helps one gently accept that this is true for people we love too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very simple and understandable...and can apply to any belief system, whether it's the idea of an afterlife or not, or reincarnation, or can tailor it to your beliefs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We have had to deal with death or the possibility of,  way more then any kids should have to and I have relied on this book every time.  It is simple, it is basic, it does not do the emotional stuff which has been fine. It has spectacular pictures and when my youngest child's beloved former teacher died this past year it was read just about every night for a little while.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book represents a very simple look at life and death. From the smallest bug to people, this book basically states we live and then die. It does not go into feelings, emotions or what might happen after you die. If you are looking for something with more emotional support, look further. If you just want a child to know that everything dies then the book is o.k. (nice illustrations)
Guest More than 1 year ago
The repetition of 'that is ...lifetime' was very soothing for my son on the death of his grandfather. This has comforted many children I know--just the soothing reassurance of the idea that everything has a birth, a death wiht living in between--and that is it's lifetime.