Help children cope with the complex issue of death with these therapist selected children’s books.
Reading helps children understand and process their feelings through stories and imagination. Whether a child has lost a family pet or loved one, these books can provide significant support during a difficult time of loss. Parents and caregivers can use these books to start conversations and help children express their emotions.
“At the bottom of Syd’s garden, through the gate and past the tree, is Grandad’s house. Syd can let himself in any time he likes. But one day when Syd comes to call, Grandad isn’t in any of the usual places. He’s in the attic, where he ushers Syd through a door, and the two of them journey to a wild, beautiful island awash in color where Grandad decides he will remain. So Syd hugs Grandad one last time and sets sail for home. Visiting Grandad’s house at the bottom of the garden again, he finds it just the same as it’s always been — except that Grandad isn’t there anymore. Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, Benji Davies’s tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they’re gone.”
Muddles, Puddles, and Sunshine
“Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine offers practical and sensitive support for bereaved children. Beautifully illustrated, it suggests a helpful series of activities and exercises accompanied by the friendly characters of Bee and Bear.
This book offers a structure and an outlet for the many difficult feelings which inevitably follow when someone dies. It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on the different aspects of their grief, while finding a balance between remembering and having fun. This book is a useful companion in the present, and will become an invaluable keepsake in the years to come.”
I Have a Question about Death
“What does it mean when someone dies?” “Why did someone I love have to die?” This book asks questions like these that a child might have about death before offering answers. It uses straightforward text and clear illustrations to explain what death means specifically to children with ASD and other Special Needs”
The Goodbye Book
“Through the lens of a pet fish who has lost his companion, Todd Parr tells a moving and wholly accessible story about saying goodbye. Touching upon the host of emotions children experience, Todd reminds readers that it’s okay not to know all the answers, and that someone will always be there to support them. An invaluable resource for life’s toughest moments.”
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death
“Straightforward and comprehensive, this indispensable book is a comforting aid to help young kids and families through a difficult time in their lives. No one can really understand death, but to children, the passing away of a loved one can be especially perplexing and troublesome. This is true whether the loss is a family member, friend, or pet. Here to offer advice and reassurance are the wise dinosaurs from the bestselling Dino Tale series. This succinct and thorough guide helps dispel the mystery and negative connotations associated with death, providing answers to kids’ most-often asked questions.
Topics covered include: What Does Alive Mean? * Why Does Someone Die? * What Does Dead Mean? * Feelings about Death? * Saying Goodbye * Keeping Customs * What Comes After Death? * Ways to Remember Someone”
Annabelle & Aiden: What Happens When We Die?
“In this inspiring, life-affirming tale, Annabelle asks, “What happens when we die?” Aiden dreams of an afterlife with marshmallow shoes and chocolate kangaroos. But with the help of their dear friends like the Skeptisaurus and Tardigrade Tom, the children discover what we do know, and how worth celebrating it is. How our atoms rejoin the universe, which remains forever changed by our lives. How our energy lasts forever, along with the stories of our loved ones we keep alive by honoring their memories. And most of all, how mortality can inspire us to appreciate the incredible opportunity we’ve been given: to live the best, most meaningful lives we can, surrounded by the people we love.”
The Endless Story: Explaining Life and Death to Children
“The Endless Story examines death in a way that is frank, but gentle – talking about why people die and what happens to our bodies when we pass. The book explores traditions of remembrance and diverse ideas about a possible afterlife including reincarnation, energy, soul, heaven, and Mother Nature – ending with Love. The Endless Story invites children to engage in dialogue with their parents or caregivers about this weighty topic, providing them with information and engaging their imaginations with unique, colorful artwork.”
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages
“Appropriate for all ages—from toddlers to adults—and featuring beautiful nature photographs throughout, this poignant, thought-provoking story follows Freddie and his companions as their leaves change with the passing seasons and the coming of winter, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow.”
The Invisible String
“The story begins with a mother telling her twins that an ‘invisible string’ connects to all the hearts of people. This string cannot be cut, torn, or broken in any way – even after death. Instead, it acts as a conductor of love between the people who care about each other. This string also cannot be seen with the eyes, but it can be felt with the heart – sending the message to readers that they are never truly alone, and will never be forgotten or abandoned by those who their invisible string is connected to”.
I Miss You: Grief and Mental Health Books for Kids
“When a close friend or family member dies, it can be sad for kids and difficult for them to express the big feelings they are experiencing. This book will help explain in a gentle way that death is a natural complement to life and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings to have following the death of a loved one.”
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