“The Dandelion’s Tale” by Kevin Sheehan and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey is a sweet, gentle book about life and remembering. It’s a picture book that has an old-fashioned feel both in the text and the accompanying illustrations.
Sparrow hears a dandelion crying and investigates. The dandelion is sad because she only has 10 seed pods left, and when they are gone no one will ever know she was there.
After discussing several options, they finally decide that the solution is for Dandelion to tell Sparrow her life story, and Sparrow will write it down in the dirt. Dandelion shares the joys and happiness she has experienced, such as, “Write how much I’ve enjoyed hearing the laughter of children as they play in the meadow,” and “She spoke of milkweed and hummingbirds; of dancing butterflies and picnicking families; of busy ants and busier bees.”
When she was done and Sparrow read it all back to her, she was very happy. Sparrow agreed to return to read her story again. But after a terrible storm, the story disappeared and the dandelion was gone -- just a light green stem was left.
And although Sparrow missed the dandelion, he promised never to forget her. He sang her song and discovered that he knew it by heart. And when ten dandelions grew up in her place, he sang her song for them.
There aren’t many picture books for young children that deal indirectly with loss, and this is a good addition to that small group. “The Dandelion’s Tale” is about the cycle of life and about remembering those who are gone. When we repeat their stories, they continue to live in those who follow.
While this isn’t a book that children might want to read and reread, it certainly has its place in the classroom or library.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Schwartz & Wade Books, for review purposes.
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