Here to Help: Books about Death & Grieving

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By sharing stories together and having conversations about the books you read, you can help young children understand the world around them. Seeing diverse experiences represented in books helps children to explore their own identities and develop empathy for others.

Losing a loved one is especially confusing and difficult for young children. These books may help a young child faced with the death & grieving process.

Not every book is available at all locations, but any title can be requested. The children’s librarian at your neighborhood library is also here to help, with suggestions for additional titles on topics of interest–or feel free to suggest some titles to us.  New books are always being added to the collection.

 

Anna's Heaven

After the death of her mother, Anna and her father imagine that Heaven might be a place where one can help in God’s garden, visit with old friends, and take off one’s socks whenever one pleases.

Flamingo Dream

Grieving over her father’s death from cancer, a young girl celebrates their last year together by making a book that includes mementos and a story.

Goodbye Mousie

A boy grieves for his dead pet Mousie, helps to bury him, and begins to come to terms with his loss.

Grandma's Gloves

When her grandmother, a devoted gardener, dies, a little girl inherits her gardening gloves and feels closer to her memory.

The Heart and the Bottle

After safeguarding her heart in a bottle hung around her neck, a girl finds the bottle growing heavier and her interest in things around her becoming smaller.

Ida, Always

A polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York’s Central Park Zoo.

Missing Mommy

Daddy comforts and reassures a very young boy after Mommy dies.

The Purple Balloon

Easy-to-read text reveals that dying is hard work, for the old and especially the young, and how good it is that so many people help when a person dies, from medical staff to clergy and friends to family members.

Remembering Crystal

Zelda is a young duck that lives in the garden. Her friend Crystal is a turtle who is growing old. The two do many things together. One day Crystal is not in the garden. But friendship never dies.

Sammy in the Sky

A little girl tells about her special pet, Sammy, “the best hound dog in the whole world,” and how, after he becomes sick and dies, she comes to know the truth of her mother’s words, that Sammy’s spirit is everywhere.

The Scar

When his mother dies, a little boy is angry at his loss but does everything he can to hold onto the memory of her scent, her voice, and the special things she did for him, even as he tries to help his father and grandmother cope.

A Story for Hippo: A Book About Loss

Hippo and Monkey are best, best, best friends and when the wise old Hippo dies, Monkey is very sad until Chameleon helps him remember the stories he and Hippo shared.

Sweet, Sweet Memory

A child and her grandmother feel sad when Grandpa dies, but as time passes, funny memories of him make them laugh and feel better.

Up in Heaven

Daisey, the dog, becomes old and dies, but she appears in dreams to Arthur to help him accept her death.