Books to Help Your Child with Grief

When a child faces the death of a loved one, especially a parent or family member, the support system is disrupted.  It is essential that families find new ways to communicate, express their feelings of grief and honestly answer questions a child may have.  Some children are verbal, others hold their feelings in.  One way to help address a child’s loss is through story books.  The key is in helping a child realize that he/she is not alone.  I will share a few favorites with you.

I Miss You:  A First Look at Death, by Pat Thomas, and published by Barron’s Educational Series, 2001.  This book helps children (and adults, too) deal with the loss of loved ones.   The author gently explains the life cycles. “Death is a natural part of life. All living things grow, change and eventually die.”  The child will view a dying tree, and a fallen bird. When the book reaches human loss, there’s a question at the bottom of the page where the author gives the child the opportunity to discuss his/her own loss by asking, “What about you? Has anyone you know died? How did they die?” Likening one’s soul to a raindrop that joins other raindrops in the ocean is beautiful.   At the end of the book is a section on how to use the book, a short glossary and  resources for grief support.

Saying Goodbye to Daddy, by Judith Vigna, and published by Albert Whitman & Co., 1991.    This is a good book to use when there has been a sudden death.  When Clara is picked up early from school by her grandfather, she doesn’t understand that something terrible has happened to her father.  Clara learns about her father’s death and what happens afterwards.  Grief, loneliness, anger and confusion follow.  Her family helps her work through her feelings and fears.  Due to family support, Clara reaches a place of peace by the end of the book.

Rain Came Down,  by David Shannon, and published by Blue Sky Press, 2000.   Many times things unexpected happen that we don’t like, and it can impact everything and everybody.  In the story, one Saturday the rain comes down and it sets off a chain reaction that causes the entire block to honk, yell, bicker, and bark.   This book can help explain how our moods can get messy when something unexpected happens.  Then the rain stops and the sun shines once again.  I like this book because you can use it to ask a grieving child about the unexpected events in their lives that upset them and impact their mood?   What feels messy and out of control in their life?  What would make it better.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

16 thoughts on “Books to Help Your Child with Grief

  1. Oh these sound like great books Pat. Each with a different view but all have the same message, a very important message for the young and old.
    On a side note… think you will like my PPBF this Friday.

  2. Coping with death is probably the only way any of us truly understand what life is about. Maybe the whole purpose of living is to die because without death, there is no perspective. I like the idea of these books and hope that they are well received.

  3. I have read the second one and really appreciated it. Thank you for recommending the other two, Pat. Will also add Susanna’s recommendation, Scar, to my list.

  4. Oooo, thanks for some new titles! Do you know the book Wishes for One More Day by Melanie Pastor? It’s published by Flashlight Press and about losing a grandfather. The cool thing is that as they talk about all of the stuff they won’t get to do with him anymore, they realize that those wishes are all memories that they can put into a book to remember him by. It’s a treasure that I’ve used in my Good Grief small group counseling classes with great success.

  5. Pat – I have not read any of these books! I am glod you did this post. These books look like a great resource. I have been away from blogging and have missed your posts!

  6. Great collection of books, here, Pat. And as Maeve mentioned, I haven’t heard of them yet, so I really should check these books out. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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