Title: Scout's Heaven
Author: Bibi Dumon Tak
Artist: Annemarie van Haeringen
Genre: Pets / Drama / Children's / Death / Family
Year Published: 2016
Year Read: 2018
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC (NetGalley)
Content Rating: Ages 5+ (Discussions about Death)
I would like to thank NetGalley and Eerdmans Books for Young Readers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Now, I have read many children’s books that dealt with the subject of death of a pet or a loved one, but I had never read a children’s book quite as unique as Bibi Dumon Tak and Annemarie van Haeringen’s book “Scout’s Heaven,” which I got from NetGalley!
The story starts off with a family’s beloved dog Scout, dying and the family ends up burying him after his death. While the family mourned for the loss of their pet, Little Brother started asking questions about whether or not Scout is now in Heaven and is happy there. At first, the family was not sure how to answer Little Brother’s questions since they were all still grieving over Scout’s death, but then a strange and wonderous thing happens…
What wonderous thing happened to the family and will they be able to cope with Scout’s death?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! I must admit that I was quite impressed with how this book dealt with the subject of death in a children’s book and I think that it handled it pretty well! Both Bibi Dumon Tak and Annemarie van Haeringen did an excellent job at writing this book as this book is extremely emotional to read through as I sympathized with the family’s efforts to try to deal with the death of their pet. I also felt sympathy for Little Brother as he was constantly asking his family questions about Scout’s whereabouts after he died and I think that Little Brother’s reactions to Scout’s death is pretty realistic to how a young child would react to their pets or loved ones dying. They would be asking questions about the concept of death and would be wondering where their loved ones would go after their deaths.
The reason why I gave this book a four-star rating was because I felt that the story was a bit too short and I wished that they actually fleshed out the story a bit more so that way, we would be able to learn more about what Scout was like when he was still alive and what kind of activities the family did with him so that way, the news of Scout’s death would have had a more emotional impact on the readers. Also, apparently the copy I got from NetGalley did not have the artwork that was supposed to go with this story and even though I still liked the story, I would have liked it better if I had received a copy that had the artwork contained in it.
Overall, “Scout’s Heaven” is a lovely book about learning how to deal with the death of a pet and this is definitely a book that would be enjoyable to children both young and old! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the theme of death might upset some smaller children.
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