“I’ll never forget you, Skiddil Squirrel. thank you for being my friend!” – from “Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories
Chester Raccoon has lost a close friend, and he doesn’t understand why. In the tender story by Audrey Penn, beautifully illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson, Chester Raccoon and the Acorn Full of Memories helps Chester and his friends celebrate the life of their friend who won’t be returning to play anymore.
This children’s book touches on issues both of the loss of young people and of older people, through the eyes of kids. Children may not understand the meaning or implications of death, and stories like this help explain this part of our lives simply and gently for them. Chester Raccoon teaches kids what it means to lose someone.
Mrs. Raccoon helps Chester cope with his loss by encouraging him to create “memories” of his friend, Skiddil Squirrel. By creating a simple memorial from the things that Skiddil loved most, Chester and friends are able to honor their friend’s life and remember him after his death.
The story offers simple guidance for parents, teachers, and other caregivers for helping children who have experienced a loss. With all of the beautiful images and happy moments of a children’s book, Chester Raccoon helps adults to teach kids that death is a natural part of life, that grieving after a loss is healthy, and that there are things we can do to help ease the healing process.
Have you worked with children coping with loss? How do you talk to them about it?