Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children by Doris Stickney
How can we answer the many questions young children have about death?
Doris Stickney and her minister husband were looking for a meaningful way to explain to neighborhood children the death of a five-year-old friend — an explanation that would satisfy not only the children but adult minds as well. While they were preparing for the child’s memorial service, the fable of the water bug that changed into a dragonfly came to mind.
“Water Bugs and Dragonflies” tells the story of a small colony of water bugs living happily below the surface of a quiet pond. Every so often one of them climbs up a lily stalk and disappears from sight, never to return. Those left behind are faced with the mystery of figuring out what has become of them.
Revealing the “miracle that makes shiny dragonflies out of ugly bugs”, this graceful story reminds us that God has given us the means of transforming our metaphorical selves into dragonflies capable of winging off contentedly into a new world. Recognizing that “the old answers will not satisfy today’s children”, Stickney presents instead a simple, wise tale that illuminates a difficult reality without pretending to contain all the answers.
This bona fide bestseller — more than 150,000 copies have been printed — is presented here in a deluxe gift edition, including newly rendered full-color illustrations. Set in large type so that young readers can enjoy it themselves, Water Bugs also includes accompanying information that offers the author’s own insights for explaining how adults can effectively assist children in coping with death.