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To think this book shouldn't be available to 3 and 4 year olds?

(36 Posts)
curiousgeorgie Wed 28-Jan-15 19:59:22

DD brings home a book everyday in her book bag, she chooses it herself from the book corner.

Today she brought home a book called 'lovely old Roly' with a picture of a cat and 2 children on the front.

Reading it to her tonight, it's about death. It starts 'Poor Roly, his legs are tired, his whiskers are sad, he sleeps all day. 'I think he's going' said sad. We'll sit with you Roly.'

The cat dies. They bury him. It's horrendously sad.

The book goes on and the children can't play because Rolys grave is nearby and they're sad.

Is this really appropriate for 3 and 4 year olds? We've recently had a death in our family so maybe I'm being over sensitive but really?? It made my throat catch and my DD went to bed asking questions about when our dog is going to die.

WIBU to bring this up to the teacher as I think it's really inappropriate?

Surely a parent should be able to decide when and how they want to talk to their child about death, not leave it up to the chance of them picking a book?

Ifyourawizardwhydouwearglasses Wed 28-Jan-15 20:01:29

YABU. Children accept this sort of thing, it's best not to make a big thing of it.

Jackieharris Wed 28-Jan-15 20:02:27


Death is part of life and it's existence shouldn't be hidden from DCs.

mamapain Wed 28-Jan-15 20:02:36

YABU, death is a fact of life like breathing, birth and taxes. I don't think it warrants special treatment.

ifgrandmahadawilly Wed 28-Jan-15 20:03:21


rinabean Wed 28-Jan-15 20:03:37

If you're worried about things like this flick through the books she chooses. It seems like it was helpful for your DD and this book combined with your answers could help put her mind at ease about death

Cabrinha Wed 28-Jan-15 20:03:55

That sounds like a lovely book.
Sorry for your recent loss

LadyLuck10 Wed 28-Jan-15 20:04:16

Yabu and so precious. How else do you think they will have any experience with it? You wbu to speak to the teacher about this.

treaclesoda Wed 28-Jan-15 20:04:56

I'm with everyone else, I don't think it should be hidden.

Sorry to hear you've had a death in the family though.

Artandco Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:00

I think it's a good book. It gives them the opportunity to discuss death without being scared by it

MrsCakesPrecognition Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:24

I think that this is one of those topics where you will get quite divided opinion. The book sounds fine to me, but both of mine were fascinated by death at that sort of age.

NormHonal Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:43

I think it's worth mentioning to a teacher, as it could be sensitive for some children (as it is for yours).

FWIW the books in the book corner have probably been grabbed in haste from the school library or another classroom by a teacher or TA without reviewing all of them in detail, so they probably aren't aware of what's there.

That said, my DC1 was full of questions about death aged 4yo, and also very accepting of honest answers.

Haggisfish Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:45

Yabu-better to have these conversations earlier rather than later. My four year old asks about death quite a lot!

Caronaim Wed 28-Jan-15 20:05:51

lovely old roly is a brilliant book, which gives children the opportunity to think and ask about death. You don't have to read it to her if you don't want to, though.

curiousgeorgie Wed 28-Jan-15 20:06:53

I think maybe then it's just the case of it being the wrong time for us.

I would have preferred to not have to read her a book like this when we've just lost a family member.

BossWitch Wed 28-Jan-15 20:06:58

I think it's entirely appropriate for the age group. Reading books can't be regulated at all times - don't you ever take your dc to a library? There's not a cage keeping all the books which might possibly be upsetting away from little hands. I think one of the most important things about reading is that it introduces children to new ideas (even sad ones) in a safe way. It allows them to process the concept with the added distance of it being in the book, and then extrapolate to the real world - which is what your dd is doing by asking the questions about your dog. You don't say that she is upset, just you. So it seems to be working.

imip Wed 28-Jan-15 20:07:07

Both of my dds brought home a book on the Battle of Britain in reception?!?That was tricky to explain...

Death is pretty confronting thing for an adult to explain to a child, and for a child it is difficult to grasp the finality (I have lost 1 dd and have ongoing dialogue with my surviving 4 dcs regarding her death). Having a recent death in the family, perhaps it could be useful to explain the parallels? flowers

SolomanDaisy Wed 28-Jan-15 20:10:32

I think it's probably a book you would want to select the timing of for yourself, because if they're in a particularly sensitive phase it could be upsetting. You also want to have thought through your answers. My DS watched a programme with a similar theme when he was two, and we realised a few months later that he thought when things died you buried them to bring them back to life. I hadn't realised what he'd taken in and should have discussed it more at the time.

NotYouNaanBread Wed 28-Jan-15 20:11:22

I think that this is as good an age as any to explain the concept of death. DD1 was VERY interested in what death was all about at that age and had the most unlikely theories about reincarnation (i.e. "When I die and come out of your tummy again, can my name be Lilisawanda/other unlikely name?" etc.)

If you have recently lost a family member, maybe the book is well timed?

Caronaim Wed 28-Jan-15 20:12:42

i was pretty horrified when my son, at the age of about 6, brought home "where the wind blows"

SolomanDaisy Wed 28-Jan-15 20:17:40

Gosh, when the wind blows still disturbs me as an adult.

curiousgeorgie Wed 28-Jan-15 20:23:15

It's been hard for us to stop the constant talk of death. She'll just blurt out 'grandad is dead' at my mums and upset everyone, so it's been a real trial to get her to stop doing that without telling her it's wrong.

Bringing home this book (that I didn't realise was about that until two pages in) is just going to start it all again.

I just don't think it's okay to have this available for any child to pick... Obviously I'm in the minority but it's really broken me tonight to be honest...

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 28-Jan-15 20:23:28

YANBU. You perceive things as you perceive them.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 28-Jan-15 20:25:11

YABU. Charlie and Lola even covered the issue of pet death. Not sure DD cottoned on at all that Whiskers or whatever his name was has snuffed it.

Artandco Wed 28-Jan-15 20:29:19

But it's ok that she says 'grandad is dead'. It's the fact. You need to not discourage it, as it's her way of processing the fact. I would say ' yes darling he is, he has gone to heaven ( or whatever), would you like to see a picture of him?'

Otherwise she will get more upset when older imo if somebody dies as she will perceive it as a very bad thing, not to be discussed. Where as its a natural thing that happens to everyone at some point

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