If you’re looking for some great children’s books about grief, you don’t want to miss this list. Finding ways to comfort your child during times of loss can be hard. These books might help!
Losing a loved one is the hardest part of life. For little ones who don’t understand life and death, it can be difficult for them to understand what is happening and how they are supposed to be acting. This list of children’s books about grief is full of stories that can help you explain the situation to little ones, and help them to understand their feelings.
These children’s books about grief are ones that you’re going to want to read, too.
20 Children’s Books about Grief
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief was written by Joanna Rowland and illustrated by Thea Baker. When the young child in this story loses a loved one, she decides to gather mementos that will allow her to remember. This sweet story gives kids an easy idea for handling their grief in the real world.
Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs was written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. This book tells the story of Tommy, a young boy who loves to visit his grandmother and great grandmother. When his great grandmother passes away, he must learn to say goodbye and live life without her.
The Invisible String was written by Patrice Karst and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff. When two young kids become scared by a thunderstorm at night, their mother comforts them by telling them about the invisible string that connects us to everyone that we love. They are comforted to learn that their string connects them with their uncle in heaven as well.
I Miss You: A First Look at Death was written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Leslie Harker. This story introduces kids to the concepts of death and grief with simple language and gentle, soothing illustrations.
Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss was written by Laura Olivieri and illustrated by Kristin Elder. This simple book is told from the perspective of a young child facing the loss of a loved one. The text is very simple, but it addresses the confusing feelings that little ones experience when faced with death, and it is paired with beautiful illustrations.
God Gave Us Heaven was written by Lisa T. Bergren and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. This story follows a conversation between Little Cub and her Papa, as she asks him about heaven and what happens after we die. The text is comforting and the illustrations are adorable, making this a good one for very young kids.
Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler’s Guide to Understanding Death was written by Bonnie Zucker and illustrated by Kim Fleming. This story uses simple text and blue-toned illustrations to help very young children understand their feelings of grief after the loss of a loved one. The book includes helpful tips for parents and caregivers to help them help little ones to understand.
The Goodbye Book was written and illustrated by Todd Parr. This colorful book, which I found on Fishlab, follows a pet fish who has lost his friend. The story explores the feelings that kids face while dealing with loss and grief, and the confusion that they face when a loved one is gone.
Someone I Love Died was written by Christine Harder Tangvald and illustrated by Anne Kennedy. This faith-based story walks children through the grief process, offering comforting words for little ones and helpful resources for parents and caregivers.
A Hug From Heaven was written by Anna Whiston-Donaldson and illustrated by Andrea Alemanno. This lyrical poem is written from the perspective of a loved one who has passed away. The comforting poem reminds grieving kids that it is okay to feel sad, and gives them hope for the future, as well as ways to remember them.
Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs was written by Susan Schaefer Bernardo and illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher. This sweet lyrical book reminds kids that no matter how far apart we are from our loved ones, we can feel their presence and love. The imagery in the poem is portrayed beautifully in the colorful illustrations.
I’ll Always Love You was written by Hans Wilhelm. This story follows a young boy and his dog Elfie, “the best dog in the whole world”. When Elfie passes away, the young boy must learn to grieve and finds comfort in the fact that he always told her how much he loved her.
The Dragonfly Story was written by Kelly Owen and illustrated by Helen Braid. This story follows a young family dealing with the death of one of their children. The parents share the fable of brown bugs and dragonflies with their kids to help them understand death and the afterlife.
Gentle Willow: A Story for Children About Dying was written by Joyce C. Mills and illustrated by Cary Pillo. When Gentle Willow starts to fall ill, her friend Amanda the squirrel tries to help her get better. Others in the forest tell her that there isn’t anything they can do to heal her, but they can give her all of the love and care that they have in the meantime. This is a great book for explaining terminal illness and death to little ones.
Ida, Always was written by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso. Gus and Ida are polar bears who live together in the zoo in the city. When Ida gets sick, Gus doesn’t know what to do without her. But he soon realizes that she will always be with him through the memories and experiences that they have had together.
Till We Meet Again was written by Julie Muller and illustrated by Camryn Cox. This lyrical poem explores the emotional journey of grief, and reminds kids that their loved ones aren’t really gone when the love for them lives on.
Always by My Side was written by Susan Kerner and illustrated by Ian Benfold Haywood. This rhyming story addresses the loss of a father in a young child’s life. The child narrator shares all of the places in nature that she feels her father’s presence, and reminds the reader that the love of a father is everywhere.
Always and Forever was written by Alan Durant and illustrated by Debi Gliori. This story follows a family of animals who are grieving their loved ones. As they mourn Fox, they soon realize that their shared memories of him will keep him in their hearts and help them to honor his memory.
One Wave at a Time: A Story about Grief and Healing was written by Holly Thompson and illustrated by Ashley Crowley. Kai is a young boy who is mourning his father and struggling with overwhelming grief. The text explores the many ups and downs of the grieving process and the wide range of emotions that people can suffer while mourning.
The Memory Tree was written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. When Fox passes away, his friends gather in a clearing in the forest and begin to share memories of their time with Fox. As they share their special moments, a tree begins to grow, reminding the reader to celebrate the lives of their loved ones after they are gone.
Do you have any other children’s books about grief that you’d recommend?
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[…] Reading books about loss and memories of loved ones can help kids cope as well. […]