Gentle Willow: A story for children about dying

Author(s): Joyce C. Mills


Written for children who may not survive their illness or for the children who know them, this tender and touching tale helps address feelings of disbelief, anger, and sadness, along with love and compassion.

Amanda and Little Tree discover that their friend Gentle Willow isn't feeling well. Amanda summons the Tree Wizards, who visit Gentle Willow and determine that they can't fix her. Amanda is angry at first, but eventually she listens to the Tree Wizards as they explain that death is a transformation and journey into the unknown. They also counsel Amanda that the medicine she can give Gentle Willow is love. In a final act of love, Amanda comforts Gentle Willow, who is afraid, with a story about the caterpillar who transforms into a butterfly.

A Note to Parents addresses how to cope with death and dying.

For ages 4-8 years


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Storytellers weave the threads that help us make sense of our reality. Joyce Mills is a magical spellbinder who touches young and old in ways that help us experience the joy of living. --(Carl A. Hammerschlag, M.D. University of Arizona School of Medicine; Author, The Dancing Healers, and The Theft of the Spirit)

I find Dr. Mills; Gentle Willow a clear and comforting message for children and their families who have to consider and deal with a life threatening illness. I think the tenderness coupled with reality is a unique blend which will comfort all who read this beautiful book. --(Neal G. Sutherland, M.D., F.A.C. Director, Mahelona Hospice Service, Mahelona Hospital Cancer Care Coordinator, G.N. Wilcox Memorial Hospital, Hawaii)

Dr. Mills' book, Gentle Willow, is a beautiful sensitive, and hope-filled metaphor which emphasizes the transformational and the healing power of love. I will use it with my child patients and recommend it to their families to read together many times. --(Geraldine Yarne, M.D. Director, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Newington Children's Hospital)


Joyce C. Mills, Ph.D., is a therapist in private practice in Kauai, Hawaii. She specializes in storytelling as a healing process for children and adults. She is the author of Little Tree: A Story for Children with Serious Medical Problems; Cartoon Magic: Using Cartoon Characters to Help Children Solve Their Problems; Sammy the Elephant and Mr. Camel: A Story to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting; and Therapeutic Metaphors for Children and the Child Within.



General Fields

  • : 9781591470724
  • : American Psychological Association
  • : Magination Press
  • : 0.126
  • : November 2003
  • : 254mm X 204mm X 2mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Joyce C. Mills
  • : Paperback
  • : 2nd Revised edition
  • : Cary Pillo
  • : 813.54
  • : 4-8
  • : 32
  • : illustrations