Heather wrote:

>>The empty chair in Granpa - ditto. An education lecturer read this with
slide illustrations and had about 50 PGCE students in tears.<<

Oh yes, I was just about to cite John Burningham's "Granpa" myself.  I can't
read it aloud to a class, it would upset me far too much.  Only saw the
animated film they made of it once, as that was also too upsetting, though
not quite as powerful as the book.

I used to have a copy of "Badger's Parting Gifts" in my classroom but passed
it on to the class next door as I found it too sad.

I had to pull myself together in Waterstones the other day, as tears were
welling up.  I was looking through the children's picture books and found
one that was a sort of doggy equivalent of "Goodbye Mog".  The little boy
wants to run and play but the dear old family dog can't quite keep up with
him any more; then the dog dies and goes to doggy heaven and looks down and
sees the little boy being very sad.  So she sends him a dream about a puppy,
then his parents take him to see some puppies and he chooses the puppy which
looks like the one in the dream.  The old dog, having seen the little boy
and the puppy being happy together, now feels free to enjoy herself chasing
butterflies in doggy heaven.  SOB!!

I know it is cheesy but I could not prevent the tears from welling up.
Can't remember the title but think it is a fairly new book.

I always used to avoid reading animal stories (of the Joyce Stranger
variety) at secondary school, as they upset me.  Ages ago, when I first
started teaching, we used to watch a weekly schools' TV programme for
literacy, (series name now escapes me although I watched it dozens of
times).  Every week there was a story, and one was calling "Losing Mick",
about a boy's dog dying.  60 children watched this programme looking fairly
unmoved, while my colleague and I were surreptitiously mopping up our tears
behind them.

Kate D.

(Today was the dreaded day when despite my protestations my colleagues yet
again voted me the job of Writing The School Christmas Play.  At least Madge
and Joey took turns with each other!)

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