Animals on the Other Side
Browne & Dufresne
Submitter: Psychic Sylvia Browne and her son team up for this bizarre picture book. On the left side of each two-page spread, an image of Browne’s now-dead dog frolicking in the afterlife. Apparently, this book is meant to teach children about the death of pets, from a psychic/spirit world point of view. On the right-hand side of the spread, an explanation, alternating by Browne or son, with a more detailed description of issues in animal afterlife studies. You can learn why animals who are prey and predator on earth get along fine in the afterlife, or why there are no animal ghosts. Heavy stuff. So is this a kids book or an adult book? The “children’s side” of the book isn’t really written with the kind of vocabulary you’d expect in a picture book, and it has no story or other hook. The images are unimaginative literal replicas of the text. My library has this catalogued in the adult section, no doubt to avoid either parent complaints or child trauma. Sadly, it circs well and is in fine condition (I seriously doubt any child has used this book), so I’m not weeding it. It is awful, and it’s staying put.
Holly: Every now and then we like a good, old fashioned collection development discussion here at ALB. I’m posting this one for discussion value, not because I think it’s an awful library book. I’ll go first: I’d put it in adult non-fiction with Browne’s other books and keep it until people forget who Sylvia Browne was or until it falls apart – whichever comes first.
RIP, Ms. Browne. See you on the other…hey, wait a minute…