When I need to talk talk about tough topics with kids, I always find myself thinking, “I should find a book about this…” Somehow those big discussions—about babies, or dying, or strangers—seem easier when approached with a book in hand. That’s why the Discussion Book series by Kayla Jarmon caught my attention. I was excited to read and review A Boy and His Dog, Dying Is Part of This World and Don’t Forget Me with my daughters.
Dying Is Part of This World and Don’t Forget Me are the first two books in Kayla’s Discussion Book series. These books are written with a Christian worldview to help parents talk about tough topics with kids. Each book includes discussion questions and Scriptures references.
Don’t Forget Me by Kayla Jarmon
Don’t Forget Me is an adorable book about a baby’s time in mommy’s womb. This picture book is written as a conversation between God and the baby. It’s a good reminder that God is the author and giver of life.
I had fun reading this with my daughters because their little brother is only a few months old, so they still remember my pregnancy. They were very excited to have a baby sibling and eagerly anticipated his arrival. That same sense of anticipation is found in the pages of this book. The delightful illustrations by Piper Miru show the baby growing in the mother’s womb.
Sunshine and Lily said the book was “very, very cute.” Lily thought it was cool to imagine what the baby and God might be saying to each other.
Pregnancy may not seem like a tough topic to discuss with kids. However, it can be if mom suffers a miscarriage or if baby has some health problems in the womb. This book could be used to reassure children that God is still taking care of their little sibling. It’s also a good way to start teaching our children that our lives begin at conception, and that all life is valuable from conception on.
Don’t Forget Me would be a great way to discuss a new sibling’s arrival with a toddler or preschooler. While all of my girls have been excited about a new baby, some children take longer to adjust to the idea of sharing Mom and Dad. Don’t Forget Me is an easy read-aloud, with lots of pictures for the child to follow along.
Dying Is Part of This World by Kayla Jarmon
In the last year, both of my grandparents have passed away. While my daughters weren’t super close to their great-grandparents because of the distance between us (my family is from Alberta), it still sparked discussion. Dying Is Part of This World allowed us to continue that discussion and helped the girls think more about death and what happens when someone they love dies.
This chapter book is also written as a conversation, this time between a mom and her daughter. The daughter worries about what would happen if her mother dies—a concern many children have. Over the next several chapters, her mother addresses this concern and others.
Lily thought this book did a good job of explaining death. She liked the description of how we may “forget but remember” earth and those we loved here after we’re in heaven. We’ve read a few books in which the parents die, so this is something she’s thought about.
Sunshine found this book “too sad.” Some children may have troubles discussing this topic, so the short chapters of this book let you take it in bite-sized portions. If your child is worried about the topic, consider planning a mother-child date and taking Dying Is Part of this World along with you. Having a fun or intimate setting for talking about death can help lessen a child’s fear.
Each chapter ends with a list of Bible verses and some discussion questions. You could look up the verses with your child or get them to copy the verses out. The discussion questions could also be used as journal entries for an older child.
This book also ties well with Don’t Forget Me because Kayla uses our time in the womb as an analogy for heaven. As babies, we loved being in our mom’s tummies, but we don’t remember that. It was just a time to prepare us for birth and life afterwards. Similarly, our time as Christians here on earth is just to prepare us for heaven. We like it here, but heaven will be so much better!
Note for Catholic parents: Kayla writes from a Protestant point of view and doesn’t believe in the Communion of Saints or Purgatory. You’ll want to preview Chapters 6 and 7 before reading them with your kids. These chapters could either be skipped or used for further discussion about what we as Catholics believe. I’d recommend using your Catechism of the Catholic Church along with your Bible while reading Dying Is Part of This World.
A Boy and His Dog by Kayla Jarmon
This was a cute book about the relationship between a boy and his dog, but the girls weren’t super excited about it because we don’t have a dog. The story follows a boy and his dog (neither are given a name) through a typical day.
Kayla Jarmon is a wife, mother, author, screenwriter, director and blogger. Storytelling is near and dear to her heart and she’s blessed with such opportunities. Her books are available on both Amazon and CreateSpace. For more about her and her books, you can drop by her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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I love how you address Catholic parents vis-a-vis “Dying is a Part of This World.” Great review!