When Badger dies, his friends are very sad as he was much loved by them all. As they visit each other, they talk about him and each shares a fond memory- some way in which Badger had helped or guided them. They come to realise that, although Badger might no longer be with them physically, he will always be with them in their memories- and in their hearts.
First published in 1984, ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts’ is celebrating 35 years. It is a heart warming story which looks at loss and grief and is as moving and powerful now as it was when it was first published. A long standing personal favourite, this is a perfect example of those books which should always have a place in school. Death is a subject adults often find difficult to explain to children, often because they want to protect them , but children need simple, clear answers to their questions which enables them to understand. ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts’ can help with this.
The illustrations are completely delightful, with gentle images in soft colours. They convey the warmth of the relationships between the animals and accompany the text perfectly. There are touches which remind me of Wind in the Willows- Badger rocking in his chair by the fire, the woods in winter, the final picture of Mole.
A completely delightful book which sensitively tackles the subject of death, ‘Badger’s Parting Gifts’ is a comforting story about remembering those we love.
Badger’s Parting Gifts Susan Varley
Andersen ISBN: 978-1849395144 (35th anniversary edition)