City Dog, Country Frog

Talking about loss with a little one can be very hard.  This picture book by Mo Willems is very simple but very powerful and a good way to prepare a young child to say good-bye to a loved one.  It tells the story of a city dog making friends with a frog out in the country.  Each season they do something different–frog games, dog games, and remembering games. Then in the winter the frog is gone, leaving the dog to eventually meet a chipmunk in the spring.  The beautiful watercolor pictures really capture each season both literally and metaphorically.  The text is subtle but opens the door for the discussion of losing someone you love–a family member passing away, a dog dying, a friend moving away.  I’ll be honest, I still cry sometimes when reading City Dog, Country Frog, because it captures the cycle of a relationship so well, especially the winter of grieving and the spring of moving on while keeping their memory alive.


  1. I read this book recently and I loved it! Death is a tricky subject to talk about with kids. Books can be a great tool, but you do have to tread carefully. Sometimes you can end up scaring kids instead of comforting them if, for example, the dog has died but you read them a book about grandpa passing away. This might introduce an idea that they had not previously considered. This book seemed pretty safe to me and one that I would feel comfortable giving to my patrons at the library. We have a bibliography that deals specifically with grief because no one wants to be fumbling for an answer when you get this question. I am so glad that you recommended this book. The story is simple and the illustrations wonderful!

    • Thanks Jennifer! I think this is just one of the most beautiful books I’ve read! The pictures are amazing and the story is so touching! And I totally agree about how sometimes it’s too much information and ends up scaring the kids. I really liked how this book could apply to a bunch of different situations and just opened the door to have those talks.

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