Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

Losing a pet is never easy and quite often a heartbreak for the entire family.  A picture book that addresses that loss in a meaningful and hope-filled way is Dog Heaven, written and illustrated by Cynthia Rylant.  With beautifully saturated colors and charmingly simple drawings, Rylant imagines what heaven would be like for dogs, one with endless biscuits and comfy clouds to sleep on.  The pages that address what homeless dogs on earth can expect are particularly poignant (spoiler alert – they each get their own home!).  Although a picture book, this story appeals to all ages and makes an excellent read-aloud experience (and springboard for discussion) for those times when saying good-bye to a beloved dog is a sad necessity.  And for those who have feline family members, Rylant has also written Cat Heaven!