Good-Bye Skink

by Suzanne T. Saldarini; ORI Academic Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-942431-13-8 (soft, color)

Something’s wrong at Acorn School! A favorite classroom pet, a small brown Skink will not move. And it will not eat its treats; not juicy strawberries, no crunchy cheerios, and not even fresh green lettuce. The Skink always stands up on its back legs, but not now. The children’s questions and their feelings are very clear. What happened to our pet? What should we do? What comes next? Together, these pre-school children with their honest and tactful teacher share many of the feelings and thoughts that come to all of us when confronted with that most difficult of all topics – death. They also learn that sharing and expressing is a good first step towards comfort. GOOD-BYE SKINK is a resource for all ages.

Suzanne’s bio

Suzanne Saldarini is a psychoanalyst and counselor who lives and works in New Jersey. Suzanne began her career with basic psychological research at the University of Kansas, and then, she practiced school psychology for many years before studying psychoanalysis. Writing for adults and children is her newest venture. Goodbye Skink joins two previous books for children, About Dreams and Harry’s Dream, both from ORI Academic Press.

Suzanne and her husband have three adult children and seven grandchildren, each one of whom, she writes, bring joy and learning to her life.


A classroom pet dies and young children turn to their teacher for answers and comfort. In GOODBYE SKINK the teacher’s honest and tactful responses help the children cope with different reactions to this stressful situation. Parents and other readers will welcome this resource for dealing with a tough topic.

— Robert C. Stern, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

What a wonderful story! …It deals with such an important topic and lets kids know that death is normal and it’s OK to have different feelings about it. I read this to my kids, and they listened attentively and liked it a lot… I really liked the Skink – I could picture it perfectly and although it was dead, its presence was very much alive in the story.

— Sabrina Tom, Author and Mother of three.

GOODBYE SKINK is a great resource for parents, educators and therapists who work with children who are pre-school age and older. Topics of loss and grief are not the easiest ones to talk about. Everyone copes with loss differently. This wonderful story reminds us that expression of grief comes in many forms, and children are truly resilient and courageous. Suzanne Saldarini shows the way.

— Victoria Grinman, Growing Kind Minds, LLC