“Life...,” said Montville Township Public School’s Physical Education teacher, Len Saunders,“There is no easy way to explain its meaning and purpose, especially to young children. There is no manual or instructions for talking about it with the children in our lives. And, no wonder; even as adults, the ‘circle of life’ can be hard to wrap your mind around and accept.”
Buddy and Bea is the award-winning author’s newest book. In it, Saunders addresses the issue of life and loss on a child’s level. Through the heart-warming story of two friends who grow close before having to be separated from each other, even children who have not experienced loss themselves can relate to his touching tale.
"I just wanted to share one of my life experiences with children in picture book format in a way that would inspire and motivate them to be the best they can be," Saunders said.
Buddy is a leaf that buds from a tree branch in spring. Bea is a bird. The two meet and form an instant bond. With the passing seasons, the two talk and laugh as Buddy grows and matures into a fully grown leaf with the beautiful colors of fall. Then, Bea must endure the loss of her friend as Buddy falls from his tree home. Bea deals with the loss of our friend, only to find joy in the spring when a new leaf buds from the tree.
The book is a warm and fuzzy story, with no mention of the word ‘death.’ Not only is Buddy and Bea enjoyable for children, but also for parents! Visit the book webpage(bb.lensaunders.com) to learn more.
About the Author: Len Saunders has become a leader in the field of children’s health and fitness. He teaches at the Valley View Elementary School in Montville, New Jersey. Throughout his career, Saunders has helped children deal with many of the challenges life throws their way. The author’s own father passed away eight months before he was born. Though Saunders never met his Dad, his Mother raised him teaching him many of the values his Father would have taught him.
“Buddy and Bea is very symbolic,” Saunders said. “For me, Buddy is Dad. Bea is my Mother. And, well, the New Bud is me.”
The book is illustrated by artist Alyssa Josue of the Philippines. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Northwest New Jersey.