The Dandelion’s Tale by Kevin Sheehan and illustrated by Rob Dunlavey
This is a poignant, heart-felt story about life and death. A sparrow meets a dandelion who is near the end of her life. She says she has one wish: to be remembered. She tells her life story to Sparrow, who writes it in the dirt of the meadow. That night, there is a storm and Dandelion is blown away. But Sparrow now knows her story and he shares it with the other birds in the meadow. Then, a few weeks later, Sparrows finds a clump of new dandelions growing where Dandelion grew. These are the offspring from Dandelion’s seeds. Sparrow shares her story with the new dandelions and in this way, Dandelion lives on, in the lives of her children and in the memories of those who knew her or heard her story. Warm, soft illustrations add to the tenderness of the story.
The book teaches an important lesson: that our loved ones live on through what they leave behind, including their children and their influence on others, and that we should share their stories. Aging and death are inevitable, but our lives have value because of our impact on others. The book demonstrates the importance of sharing stories of family members with the younger generation so they know where and who they came from. Because of this, the book is ideal to read to children who have lost grandparents or others to old age. Sharing the stories of our loved ones honors them and keeps their memories alive. The dandelion’s wish – to be remembered – is universal. Though the book is sad, it shows that life is full circle – there is death, but there is also new life. Life does go on after loss.