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Children's Story Books

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Children's Story Books on Death and Grief

G = General

P = Death of a parent

GR = Death of a grandparent

G - When Dinosaurs Die - A Guide To Understanding Death - Unlike many books on death for little ones, this one doesn’t tell a story. Instead it addresses children’s fears and curiosity head on. It has great illustrations and two pages of “Ways to Remember Someone.”

G - Badger’s Parting Gifts - Fox, Frog, Mrs. Rabbit and Mole go into mourning when their wise old friend, Badger, dies. But then they start to remember all the wonderful times they had with him.

GR - Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs - A child’s cherished great-grandmother dies, and he grieves deeply. But then he sees a falling star and imagines that it’s a kiss from her.

G - The Fall of Freddie Leaf - How Freddie and his companion's leaves change with the passing seasons, finally falling to the ground with winter’s snow, is an inspiring allegory illustrating the delicate balance between life and death.

GR - What’s Heaven - Written by a mother, answering her child’s questions following the death of a grandmother.

P - Molly’s Mom Died and Sam’s Dad Died - Early Reader 8-10. These two picture books by Margaret Holmes have gentle illustrations and reassuring text to help young children understand the grief process. The books validate both the negative and positive feelings and the behaviors that are typical for children who have lost a parent. There is a caregiver section at the back of the book that could help adults answer questions and deal with particular concerns.

P - I Heard Your Daddy Died and I Heard Your Mommy Died - These books are for the child ages 2-6 . It is a simple and helpful tool for family and caregivers to read to the child whose parent has died. These books let children know it is okay for them to cry, be sad and also happy and play. There are many ideas to encourage discussion and to help the child to remember their parent.

GR - Animal Crackers - Early Reader 8-10 , A gentle, sad story about a loving playful grandmother who hides treats for her grandchildren. This story could be used to help prepare children for future events as grandparents age, or to encourage conversation after the death of a grandparent.

GR - Green Mittens From Grandma - A gentle story of a child’s grief. Grandma knit special green mittens. When she died, the little boy goes to his room and digs a green mitten out of the drawer and keeps it in his pocket. The young child remembers all the things he loved about grandma. 

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