The End of Something Wonderful
A Practical Guide to a Backyard Funeral
By Stephanie V. W. Lucianovic (Author), George Ermos (Illustrator)
With gentle humor and quirkiness, this sympathetic book demonstrates how to say goodbye to a beloved pet and give it a proper sendoff.
Children love their pets very much—and when the animals die, that loss can be hard to process. The End of Something Wonderful helps kids handle their feelings when they're hurting and can't find all the right words. In a warm, understanding, sometimes funny way, it guides children as they plan a backyard funeral to say goodbye, from choosing a box and a burial spot to giving a eulogy and wiping away tears. Most of all, it reassures them that it's not the end of everything . . . and that Something Wonderful can always happen again.
“When Something Wonderful (‘like a guinea pig or a fish’) suddenly becomes Something Dead, one might wonder what to do. Enter Lucianovic, whose picture book debut offers an objective guide to the backyard burial. Macabre humor winks at readers behind precise instructions and tips: ‘A WARNING: Don’t get excited and try [to] bury something that isn’t dead. Not only is it rude, but it is also annoying when the Something Dead walks away before the backyard funeral is even over.’ In an accompanying image, a cat covered in dirt glares at its owner as it stalks off. Ermos (Dough Knights and Dragons) matches Lucianovic’s humor with playfully energetic scenes featuring diverse characters with large, expressive eyes in absurd situations, such as taking a grave-digging lunch break atop a deceased hippopotamus. Tenderness also glimmers through the playful morbidity: ‘You could also explain how being dead won’t ever change how much you love [your animal]. But if you don’t feel like saying it out loud, it’s perfectly okay to hug that thought inside your heart, too.’ A sensitive yet refreshingly frank and good-humored resource for children mourning the loss of a pet.” —Publishers Weekly
“[It] is GREAT! . . . It's funny and sardonic and it gets to be touching at the end.” —Betsy Bird, School Library Journal
“Would have been very helpful when I was a kid. . . . [a] unique picture book.” —Mr. Schu, Ambassador of School Libraries for Scholastic
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
George Ermos is an illustrator, maker, and avid reader from England. He works digitally and enjoys indulging in (and illustrating) all things curious and mysterious.