14 Best Books For Kids About Death Update 05/2022

It can be very hard to explain tragedy and death to a young child, and to help them deal with it. Make sure to look for children’s books that can help your kids learn how to deal with sad and scary news about death and grief, as well as how to deal with sad and scary things in general.

Check the book out on your own first to see if your child will like it and if it fits your needs. Also, read and talk about one book at a time with your child so that he can think about these hard ideas. In cases where your child has lost a close friend or had intense or long-lasting emotions, you should talk to your child’s doctor or a mental health expert about how to help them.

Tess’s Tree by Jess Brallier

Tess was in love with her tree. Swing on it and sit in its shade. Catch its leaves in fall. After a storm ripped off some big branches, her tree had to be cut down and taken away. A funeral for her tree is put together in the days that follow. People who used to know and love the tree come together to tell good stories. This is what Tess does in those days. The book is a gentle way to learn about loss, death, and remembering.

4 and up is the ideal age.

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes

Sherman Smith, who is only a few years old, saw something very bad happen to someone. A lot of time goes by and he doesn’t want to think about it anymore, so he tries to not think about it at all. So Sherman starts to meet Ms. Maple at school, and he learns to talk about his feelings with her. This makes him feel better, because he can talk about how he feels with her. When you read this story, you can use it to talk about everything from natural disasters to school violence to child abuse, even if you haven’t seen or heard about it yourself.

4 and up is the ideal age.

The Invisible String by Patrice Karst

To help her son get over being separated from her when he started preschool, the author came up with the idea of “the invisible string” (for both mother and child). People who read this story will remember that we are never alone. Even when we are not with the people we love, we are always connected to them by an invisible string. There is a gentle story that helps children when they have lost a loved one or are afraid to be away from their parents after a scary event, like a fire.

3 and up is the ideal age.

Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children by Bryan Mellonie

It’s hard to talk about death with kids. People who read this book will learn that everything that is born also dies. A lifetime is what happens in between. In this way, it shows that dying and being born are both important parts of living. Check the book out. It says that many people live to be at least 60 or 70, which may worry kids who have relatives older than that, or hurt families who have lost a younger loved one and have to deal with that.

Ages 5 and up are the best.

When Dinosaurs Die by Laura Krasny Brown

It’s a good book for parents to read to their kids, but they say to only read some parts of it to them, depending on their age. The book gives simple, age-appropriate answers to common questions kids might have, like “What does dead mean?” and “What happens after death?” (answered in a mainly secular fashion). It also talks about some traditions about the dead, like funerals. Be aware that it also talks about things like suicide and drug overdoses, so think about whether it’s OK to talk about those parts with your child.

Ages 6 and up are the best.

Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley

When their friend Badger dies, the animals of the woods come together to remember him and to say goodbye to him. How will they keep going? There are three things that will help them: his kindness, friendship, and the love he has for each one of them. They decide to use these three things to help them. It’s a classic, heartwarming story that doesn’t go into specifics about death. It’s a good story to read over and over again.

4 and up is the ideal age.

When I Feel Sad by Cornelia Maude Spelman

There are a lot of books in the series called “The Way I Feel Books.” This one helps kids learn that all emotions are important, universal, and can be changed. Kids will learn that sometimes they feel sad because something bad happened or for no reason at all, but it’s okay to feel that way and it won’t last for ever! It’s important for parents to read the book to their kids even when they’re sad, so they know that sadness can come up at any time and that it’s OK.

4 and up is the ideal age.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss

When kids read this book, they learn about the wide range of human emotions through colorful pictures and quick rhymes, like: “Some days are bright yellow. Some of them are blue. On different days, I’m also different.” A “busy, buzzy bee” on “yellow” days and a horse “kicking up its heels” on “red” days are also linked to the colors and feelings. There are many different colors and moods on some days. This is especially true during times of grief.

3 and up is the ideal age.

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

The more children learn about death, the more likely they are to be afraid, both big and small. Scaredy Squirrel is sure to understand. This makes him want to stay in his tree and never leave. Suppose spiders, martians, or killer bees show up and he doesn’t know it. It turns out that there are many more good surprises than bad ones in store for him in life.

4 and up is the ideal age.

Peaceful Piggy Meditation by Kerry Lee Maclean

After a big event, like a death in the family or a disaster in the community, young children need some time to be alone. This is true even if it’s just a busy day. Balance your questions about how your child is feeling with some time to relax and think about what you want to say to him or her. In this book, pigs take a break from fighting with siblings or playing video games so that they can “find a quiet spot and just breathe, breathe, breath.” For kids and their families, it makes the idea of meditation seem less esoteric or far-out than it does now. Sometimes, there’s nothing better for you than some quiet time and deep breaths.

Ages 5 and up are the best.

Only One You by Linda Kranz

No one dies or gets hurt in this book. It’s a good book to read any time of the week. It shows that kids can be proud that there is only one of them. Because they should be able to be who they are, they should be able to feel their own emotions, make friends, make art, and live a life that is all theirs. When kids wonder what will happen to them or someone else when they die, they can keep in mind that every person makes their own mark on the world. There will never be anyone else who can be “you.” That makes “you” so great.

4 and up is the ideal age.

Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?: Letters to Mr. Rogers by Fred Rogers

Books written by Mr. Rogers still have his kind words inside of them. If you’re a parent, you might want to show your kids this book. It’s a collection of letters from kids and real answers from Mr. Rogers, and it’s aimed at adults. Grief can be hard to deal with, so the book is broken up into sections that could help. There are chapters on Feelings and Fears, Death, Family Relationships, and more that could be helpful. It also has general advice for parents on how to answer their kids’ questions honestly and with respect.

Children should be between the ages of two and five (Adult book to share with children)

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