Useful Stories on Grief and Loss for Children

Always and Forever – Debi Gliori

When Fox dies the rest of his family are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.
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These Precious Little People – Frankie Brunker

A beautifully illustrated picture book written in loving memory of all babies gone too soon including Frankie’s own daughter Esme. It is a way for young children to explore their own emotions on losing a sibling and is one of the best children’s grief books I have come across.
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A Star For Bobby – Helen Keenor

A beautiful book about the death of a sibling; helping young siblings understand what has happened and how their baby sibling can be remembered and cherished.
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The Broken Egg – Joe Sutherland

A story written by bereaved parents in memory of their son Graidan Lane. They recognised that as hard as it is to understand a sudden loss ourselves it is far more difficult for children to understand. The story shows how we don’t always get to bring our little egg’s home but we can love them and keep them with us in our hearts. A really heartwarming read for children struggling to grasp where the baby has gone.
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A Sky Of Diamonds – Camille Gibbs

This story addresses loss, grief and hope for children slightly older (around age 9), written from the character Mia’s perspective of losing her mother suddenly as a child. It covers the different stages of grief and highlights the importance of giving children time and space to work through their own emotions.
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The Memory Tree – Britta Teckentrup

A beautiful picture book that helps children celebrate the memories left behind when a loved one dies bringing comfort to both children and adults .

Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest, but now he is tired. He lies down in his favourite clearing, and falls asleep for ever. Before long, Fox’s friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And so, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger with each memory, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive.

The Story Of My Mommy/Daddy/Brother/Sister/Grandma/Grandpa/Little Brother/Little Sister – Kate Pulley

The Paper Dolls – Julia Donaldson

One of my favourite Julia Donaldson stories! The story is a beautiful way of helping children understand that memories live on long after people are no longer with us. Although it doesn’t solely focus on grief it does show how the loss of an object or person can alter our lives and the memories we have.
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In The Stars – Sam Kitson

A picture book that comforts children through grief and loss. It is a beautifully illustrated and written in a way children will understand
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Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine – Diana Crossley

The activity book offers practical and sensitive support for a bereaved child, it aims to help children make sense of their own experience by reflecting on different aspect of their grief through a series of activities and exercises.
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The Heart And The Bottle – Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers deals with the themes of love and loss and shows the reader that there is always hope.

Once there was a girl whose life was filled with wonder at the world around herโ€ฆ
Then one day something happened that made the girl take her heart and put it in a safe place. However, after that it seemed that the world was emptier than before. But would she know how to get her heart back?

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book – Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is a heartrendingly honest account of his grief for his son who sadly died from meningitis at the age of 19. It acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable.
A beautifully illustrated read for both adults and children about love and loss that explains why it is OK to be sad sometimes. Sometimes I think, especially as a child, we find difficult to remember.
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Badger’s Parting Gifts – Susan Varley

Endorsed by Child Bereavement UK and provides young children with a way to help them understand grief and loss.

Badger is so old that he knows he must soon die, so he does his best to prepare his friends. When he finally passes away, they are grief-stricken, but one by one they remember the special things he taught them during his life. By sharing their memories, they realise that although Badger is no longer with them physically, he lives on through his friends.
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No Matter What – Debi Gliori

A heartfelt story about the love each parent feels for their child that slightly touches on how love is always in our memories even after loss.

I’ll always love you no matter what…’
‘No matter what?’ Small asks. But what if he turns into a bug, or a crocodile, or even a grizzly bear? Small has all sorts of questions about love, and his mummy must reassure him that her love will never, ever run out – no matter what.

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The Invisible String – Patrice Karst

The Invisible String has become the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss and grief and is used by parents, educators, therapists and social workers. Offering a simple approach to overcoming loneliness, separation or loss that children can easily understand and embrace.
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The Dragonfly Story – Kelly Owen

A retelling of the fable Waterbugs and Dragonflies, The Dragonfly Story helps explain death and the concept of heaven to people of all ages. It provides a view of death that captures a glimpse of what heaven might be like.
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The Baby – Joseph Hopkins

A book written to support families that are suffering or have previously gone through the loss of a baby. It helps families talk about this difficult time in their lives through the use of rhyme. It is a wonderful, calm and helpful way to talk to younger family members about the loss of a baby.
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