Muffin is Dead

hurts a lot

It Must Hurt A Lot
A child’s book about death

And we are back with another helpful book from our long time favorite author Doris Sanford.

This time Doris takes up the cause of explaining death. Joshua had a puppy named Muffin and the neighbors backed over the dog with the car. Of course, Joshua was upset. He didn’t eat and couldn’t concentrate on school.  Everyone was upset.  Joshua’s friend Tim had a grandmother that died. Joshua understood all of Tim’s problems. Now he thinks about Muffin every day and has nothing but good memories.

Again, the dumb non-story is my gripe. However, if we are grading Doris’ previous books, this is probably the least awful of her bibliography. Maybe since there are less creepy illustrations contained in this particular title it is less problematic. (Just an idea I am kicking around.)


hurts back cover

hate them

another puppy



  1. If I was a kid and someone compared losing a pet to losing a grandparent, I’d have punched him. I have an urge to find this author and puch her.

    1. When I was a kid, the loss of my dog (hit by a car) was more painful to me than the loss of my grandmother. Besides, here it is another child connecting the two. Children have little experience with death, so don’t know we expected to miss a person more than a pet. At least no one told him (that I know of), “it was just a pet.”
      I thought like Daniel about the shouting “SHE DIED!!!”

      1. I agree, Lisa! You see a pet every day, and if it was your pet you were responsible for it, but you probably don’t see a grandparent every day, and you probably don’t feel responsible for what happens to them.

      2. If I’m really honest, there are very few people, even as an adult, that I would miss more than my dog. And while one of grandmothers was one of them, the other pretty much made the world better by leaving it.

  2. I like to think the spacing, capital letters and the exclamation points reflect how Mom actually spoke that sentence. “Muffin was hit by a car this morning and *dramatic pause, then shouting* SHE DIED!!!” *dramatic lightning flashes outside*

  3. Well, Mom is just as awful as can be. What a way to tell a child their pet died, or their grandparent, or anything. Doris really should be sent to some re-education camp where everything is based on the style of her books—-except she probably wouldn’t get the irony.

  4. i have to assume the lack of overt awfullness here is due to her editor rather than ms sanford herself. imaginary redacted last page “and maybe if you’d picked up your legos muffin would still be alive”

  5. 1) true story my mother and young sister of 10 yrs old went on a trip and I (17) stayed home. Had a few friends over BBQ no drinking or nonsense, just a bunch of Gallants in Goofus n Gallant, we picked up and carried dishes in and cleaned. Unfortunately none of us bothered to say where is the dog. 15 min later I get a call she is hit by car; I had her put down and had to call my mom to tell my sister the dog wouldn’t be there upon their return.

    2) I can hear the real dialogue now:
    “mommy can I play w Muffin, where is Muffin, I love Muffin, isn’t Muffin sweet, Muffin Muffin Muffin …..”
    *reaches pressure point*

  6. I’m loving the big reveal: “SHE DIED!!!” I bet Ed Wood would have loved to do the Hollywood extravaganza of this.

  7. Is it me, or does it seem like many, many fundamentalist Christian authors love using that particular calligraphy-style font that Doris Sanford is apparently oh so fond of?

    Also…SHE DIED!!! Gee Mom, way to go in breaking it gently! xD

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