Death. There, I've said it. It's like the great big elephant in the room as far as kids books go - books for the under-ten set, particularly. But it's also something they really, really want to understand which lends the subject a peculiar fascination. (My son once went as The Grim Reaper from The Seventh Seal for Hallowe'en).
Steph Aulenback over at Crooked House has written about her son, and how fascinated he was with Jan Thornhill's I Found a Dead Bird which seems to be going into a new edition (good news) and is available for pre-order now. The book (deservedly) won the Norma Fleck Award for Children's Non-fiction. And I recommend checking out Thornhill's website for all kinds of fascinating background on the process of creating the book.
All of this got me thinking about my friend Elizabeth Liddle (full disclosure: I have some friends. Many of them are very talented), and her book Pip and the Edge of Heaven. The book takes the form of a dialogue between a young boy and his mother. The adorably-named Pip asks some big questions and also comes up with some big answers. As far as I can tell, this book seems to be currently out of print, which is a dirty rotten shame and somebody really ought to do something about that.