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When Children Grieve

After the death of a loved one, thoughtful stories shared with loving adults can help children navigate the grieving process. Check out the titles below for gentle, validating examples of children faced with loss.


The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Amazon Says: There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to f more...
Amazon Says: There is a wonder and magic to childhood. We don’t realize it at the time, of course . . . yet the adults in our lives do. They encourage us to see things in the stars, to find joy in colors and laughter as we play. But what happens when that special someone who encourages such wonder and magic is no longer around? We can hide, we can place our heart in a bottle and grow up . . . or we can find another special someone who understands the magic. And we can encourage them to see things in the stars, find joy among colors and laughter as they play. Oliver Jeffers delivers a remarkable book, a tale of poignancy and resonance reminiscent of The Giving Tree that will speak to the hearts of children and parents alike. Watch a Video less...
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Remembering Crystal by Sebastian Loth
Amazon Says: A beautifully written and illustrated book that introduces a big subject to little ones   Crystal had lived in the garden for many years. She was growing old. Zelda was jus more...
Amazon Says: A beautifully written and illustrated book that introduces a big subject to little ones   Crystal had lived in the garden for many years. She was growing old. Zelda was just starting out in life. They were best friends. They read books together. They took trips together. And they talked about everything. But one day Crystal was not in the garden. She had died. In this gentle story, children learn, with Zelda, that true friendship is a gift that doesn’t die. less...
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Amazon Says: FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevita more...
Amazon Says: FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable death. less...
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Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
Amazon Says: Badger's friends are sad when he dies but treasure the memories he left them. "The gentle message holds particular validity for children and is conveyed in a tenderhearted. .. more...
Amazon Says: Badger's friends are sad when he dies but treasure the memories he left them. "The gentle message holds particular validity for children and is conveyed in a tenderhearted. ..manner."-- Book1ist. less...
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If Nathan Were Here by Mary Bahr
Amazon Says: If Nathan Were Here gently explores the grief of a young boy whose friend has died. With the help of some understanding people, the boy finds ways to give expression to his so more...
Amazon Says: If Nathan Were Here gently explores the grief of a young boy whose friend has died. With the help of some understanding people, the boy finds ways to give expression to his sorrow and to reach out to someone else who needs him. less...
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I Remember Miss Perry by Pat Brisson
Amazon Says: It’s his first day at a new school, and Stevie is scared.Who will he talk to at lunchtime? But his teacher says, "It is my fondest wish that you join me for lunch today, Ste more...
Amazon Says: It’s his first day at a new school, and Stevie is scared.Who will he talk to at lunchtime? But his teacher says, "It is my fondest wish that you join me for lunch today, Stevie."And with that, a bad day becomes a good one. Miss Perry always has a new fondest wish—something new to read, sing, celebrate. But then an awful thing happens: Miss Perry dies in a car accident, and everything is suddenly sad and complicated.Yet Stevie and his classmates must find their way to happiness again. It would surely be Miss Perry’s fondest wish. Pat Brisson and Stéphane Jorisch have created a poignant story, appropriate for children coping with a teacher’s death or in need of comfort after any loss. Readers of all ages will be affected by its depth and honesty, and buoyed by its capacity for joy. less...
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Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas
Amazon Says: A young girl and her lovable dog, Lulu, are the best of friends. They play games together, explore their neighborhood, and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. L more...
Amazon Says: A young girl and her lovable dog, Lulu, are the best of friends. They play games together, explore their neighborhood, and even cuddle up to read bedtime stories each night. Lulu is the best dog a girl could ever hope for, but when she grows older and gradually becomes weak, the little girl must face the sad possibility of losing her dear friend, and inevitably, cope with the death of her canine companion. Though she is deeply saddened by Lulu's passing and misses her very much, over time the little girl discovers that the sweet memory of her beloved Lulu will live on forever... in her heart. With realistic, hopeful illustrations by Ard Hoyt, this tender tale offers an accessible lens to young children learning to understand and cope with the mixed emotions that come with the loss of a loved one. less...
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The Best Cat in the World by Leslea Newman
Amazon Says: A young boy deals with the loss of his beloved cat Charlie, eventually accepting the arrival of another, very different cat. more...
Amazon Says: A young boy deals with the loss of his beloved cat Charlie, eventually accepting the arrival of another, very different cat. less...
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Desser the Best Ever Cat by Maggie Smith
Amazon Says: A heartwarming and cathartic book for anyone who has ever loved, and lost, a cat. This is the story of a cat, told by the little girl who loved him best. From his first plai more...
Amazon Says: A heartwarming and cathartic book for anyone who has ever loved, and lost, a cat. This is the story of a cat, told by the little girl who loved him best. From his first plaintive mew to his last loving purr, Desser was an essential member of the family. And for the little girl, especially, he was a constant companion. He was the catalyst for her first steps, thrilled when she got her first big bed, and he was waiting for her after her first day of school. But as the girl grows bigger, Desser grows older. And eventually it is time to say good-bye. Still, by telling his story and remembering him well, the girl finds a way to keep him alive in her heart. With the simplest words and truly adorable illustrations, Maggie Smith captures the special bond we have with our pets and offers a helpful method for coping with their loss. less...
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