The last of Marcia Rauch’s bibliographies about using books to help children in challenging situations deals with death. What other books have you used in talking with children about the death of a pet or a loved one or friend?
Wilhelm, Hans. I’ll Always Love You. ISBN# 0-517-57265-6. A child narrates the story and tells about his dog Elfie. The dog and the child grow up together and Elfie dies.
Buscaglia, Leo. The fall of Freddie the Leaf. ISBN# 0-8050-1064-5. This is the story of Freddie the leaf and his friend Daniel. As the seasons change, Daniel explains what is happening to Freddie and how everything must die. This book does not use the term heaven as a place where one goes after death. However it is a good book to start a conversation about the changes that occur in all of our lives.
Nobisso, Josephine. Grandpa Loved. ISBN# 0-88138-119-5. This is a book that was written to remember a grandfather who died. His grandson recalls all of the things that his grandpa loved. The boy comes to the conclusion that his grandfather is with them all the time.
Shriver, Maria. What’s Heaven? ISBN# 0-31238-241-4. A story that is a conversation between a mother and daughter after the death of the child’s great-grandmother. The concept of heaven is sensitively explained and the child learns that memories of her grandmother will always be there.
Thomas, Pat. I Miss You: A First Look at Death. ISBN# 0-76411-764-0. The book explains that death is a complement to life and that it is normal to have feelings of grief and a sense of loss when someone you love dies.
Stickney, Pat. Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children. ISBN# 0-82981-624-2. The story talks about life after death and speaks of being in a better place. It helps to answer questions like why people can’t come back after dying. It also contains prayers for parents and children as well as advice for parents on the topic of death.
Silverman, Janice. Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies. ISBN# 1-57749-085-1. An art therapy book which addresses questions that children may have about death. Encourages children to draw what they cannot express in words.
Hanson, Warren. The Next Place. ISBN# 0-93167-432-8. An inspirational journey of light and hope where earthly hurts are left behind. Beautiful illustrations and words to help explain the concept of heaven to a child.
Long, Kathleen Bostrom and Kucharik, Elena. What about Heaven? ISBN# 1-85985-389-7. At the time of a death, children ask questions such as what we will do in heaven. With scripture passages, this book is written in a way that will help children understand. Part of the Little Blessing series.
Thomas, Cristine. A Butterfly for Brittany: A children’s book about the Death of Another Child from a Child’s Point of View . ISBN# 0-97787-960-7. A book about how a child copes with the loss of another child to cancer. Megan helps her cousin Brittany on the day that Brittany goes to heaven. Megan paints a pretty butterfly with beautiful wings, which she gives to Brittany to wear when the angels take her to heaven.
Ryan, Victoria. When your Grandparent Dies: A Child’s Guide to Good Grief . ISBN# 978-0-87029-3641. Elf characters explore the meaning of death from a child’s point of view. Explores the meaning of death and heaven as well as how to stay close in spirit when a grandparent dies.
Tanguald, Christine Harderer. Someone I Love Died. ISBN# 1-55513-490-4. Positive approach for children to deal with death in a comforting way. This book points to Jesus as our ultimate source of comfort.
Nystrom, Carolyn. What Happens When People Die? ISBN# 0-80247-855-7. Children see for themselves the reasons that people die and what God has in store for them in heaven.
Varley, Susan. Badger’s Parting Gifts. ISBN# 978-0-688-11518-0. The story of woodland creatures losing their dear friend Badger and how they are comforted by their special memories of him.
Ladwig, Tim. Psalm 23. ISBN# 0-80285-163-0. Picture book of this scripture passage with African American children as the characters.
Books about Death by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.