Edited by Christian, 04 March 2012 - 05:37 PM.
The Slate Book Review
Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:46 PM
Posted 03 March 2012 - 10:03 PM
Sweet. Adding it to my feed.
Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:55 PM
Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:51 AM
Yet We Are in a Book! is far more moving—and terrifying—than you might expect a children’s book to be. It is genuinely freaky in its simple, direct depiction of death. What defines the human consciousness of death? It is not the fear of pain: Animals certainly can fear pain. It is our fear of the void—the idea of nothingness. I recently watched my middle child awaken to the realization that death is the void, and it was awful and disturbing to see his world rocked. One major benefit of religion is that it offers an alternative to the void, something rather than nothing. But those of us who live without the solace of belief in the afterlife (and who don’t offer our children that solace, either) instead find ourselves eyes wide open in bed, imagining … nothing. We Are in a Book! (the title’s jaunty exclamation point comes to seem like a taunt) smacks kids right in the face with that nothingness, shows them grotesquely—in the desperate prayers and mad gesticulations of a cartoon elephant—that death is to be feared because the void awaits us all.
I am going to track down this book for my own children and find a way to use it as a tool to discuss the joys of eternal life. Or to just make sure my kids don't go to sleep frightened.