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Themes, Topics & Categories > Children's Books About Death/Grief

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message 1: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kelly Jo,

Oh, my sympathies. It's good that you're thinking ahead.

I know I know some books but I can't find them/think of them.

Here's the page from my google search in the meantime:

Also, I'm not sure that the book would have to be about the death of a dog. Any good book about death in general or impermanence might be useful.

I'll try to think of some books.

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy (amyhageman) | 7 comments This book might be helpful, if you can find it:
Lifetimes - A Beautiful Way to Explain Life and Death to Children.
I read it earlier this year and found it to be very moving.

message 3: by Mir (new)

Mir | 60 comments "Drop Dead" is a very light-hearted picture book with grandparents explaining to a grandchild about how they will die eventually but aren't upset.

message 4: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Morrill Kelly Jo, First of all I'm sorry you are facing such a loss. Second, I commend you for seeing that your child might have trouble with your dogs passing ahead of time and doing everything you can to help her through it. Third, my daughter just happened to pick a book from the library that deals with the loss of a beloved dog.

The book is called Up in Heaven by Emma Chichester Clark. The boy in the stoy has a little dog named Daisy. Daisy is getting older and one day when she goes to sleep, she wakes up in heaven. She is happy in heaven and doesn't feel tired or any pain any longer. She looks down on her boy, Arthur, from heaven. She sees that he is very sad, but she wants him to be happy again. She sends him dreams to let him know she is happy and that he should be happy too. She sent him dreams to say it was okay for him to love another dog.

Overall, a very cute book, without being overly sad or depressing. I can't remember how old your daughter was, but it is a cute picture book.

message 5: by Mir (new)

Mir | 60 comments Yes, Kelly Jo, it was the title I noticed first. I'm not sure I liked the book that much, but it did present death as something normal that kids shouldn't be scared by.

message 6: by Cathy (new)

Cathy Our dog, Cody, passed away right after Christmas. We were heartbroken. She was a dear friend for 14 yrs. I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for bringing up the topic so others might find comfort in the books.

message 7: by Luann (new)

Luann (azbookgal) | 44 comments I second Abigail's suggestion of The Tenth Good Thing about Barney. Another that I haven't read but have seen recommended along with The Tenth Good Thing about Barney is Goodbye Mousie by Robie H. Harris. I just recently read Tomie dePaola's book dealing with the death of his great-grandmother: Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs.

message 8: by Deborah (new)

Deborah (deborahfreedman) | 0 comments So sorry about Mandy, Kelly Jo.

My favorite books for children about death are Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, and The Dead Bird, by Margaret Wise Brown.

message 9: by Lynn (new)

Lynn | 17 comments Kelly Jo wrote: "I apologize for bringing such a depressing topic to the table, but I'm looking for some good books for kids to help them handle a passing.

Our dog-friend of 14 years, and the only dog my 8- yea..."

See if you can find Odette, a Springtime in Paris by Kay Fender. It's out of print but the library may have it our be able to InterLibrary loan it for you.
It was, and is my daughter, who is now 30, favorite book.
It's about an old man in Paris who plays the accordian in the Metro. A little bird falls into his hat. He raises the bird. Then the bird flies away when it becomes time. The bird returns with his family to visit the old man. But the old man is gone. Still, he left his straw hat in the tree for the bird to use as a nest. It's so gentle and the illustartions are beautiful.

message 10: by Flinkybits (new)

Flinkybits So sorry for your loss.

There is a book called "When a Pet Dies" by Fred Rogers. It is older though.

A dog like Jack / DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan.

Gentle Willow : a story for children about dying / written by Joyce C. Mills

Try your local library-they are sure to have some of these books.

Take care,

message 11: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments My favorite children's death/grief book isn't pertinent for animal companions but is great for parents: How It Feels When A Parent Dies

I like it because the kids tell their own stories.

This author has written a lot of feel like books for kids, and I like them all, but this one is probably my favorite.

message 12: by Dora (new)

Dora Mitchell (inky_beast) | 6 comments Don't know if you're looking for any more books, but I just reviewed one for a children's materials class I'm taking that was very good-- Michael Rosen's Sad Book. It's really lovely--and illustrated beautifully by Quentin Blake... I'm really sorry for your loss, too--two of my pets passed in the last few months, so I sympathize :(

message 13: by Zoe (new)

Zoe (playingbythebook) | 18 comments Falling Angels by Colin Thompson
Seven for a Secret by Laurence Anholt, illustrated by Jim Coplestone
Beautiful by Susi Gregg Fowler, illustrated by Jim Fowler
Duck, death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

These are about the death of people rather than animals, but they are all wonderful books. I've reviewed theme here:

message 14: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments We have "Nana Upstairs Nana Downstairs" by Tomie De Paola. I got it from the library, but ds asked me to buy it, so I bought it. It can be either religious or secular, since his grandma (or great-grandma?) comes back in the form of a falling star, I believe.

Secular Ones: "The Fall of Freddie the Leaf"
"Badger's Parting Gifts"

message 15: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments There's a couple of books about the grief of losing a child and they were Dear Mili and Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.

message 16: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8433 comments Mod
Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? deals with the death of a grandparent.

message 17: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Gundula wrote: "Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? deals with the death of a grandparent."

That sounds like an interesting book...I better check it out!

message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8433 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Gundula wrote: "Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? deals with the death of a grandparent."

That sounds like an interesting book...I better check it out!"

I have not read it yet, but it looks good (the description looks good). I think it was originally written in German.

message 19: by Ronyell (last edited Apr 19, 2010 10:01AM) (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Hmm.. I haven't read a book in German before. Are there any German children's books?

message 20: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8433 comments Mod
There are huge amounts of German children's books, some have been translated into English, and some have not. My shelves have quite a number of German children's literature listed (check under picture books or German lit.).

message 21: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Alright, I'll check it out! By the way, have you read King Midas and the Golden Touch, a book by Rabbit Ears? It also deals with the loss of a child.

message 22: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8433 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Alright, I'll check it out! By the way, have you read King Midas and the Golden Touch, a book by Rabbit Ears? It also deals with the loss of a child."

I haven't, but I think I'll add it to my list.

message 23: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Alright!

message 24: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Has "Charlotte's Web" been mentioned? Love that book!

message 25: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments Oh, I thought of another one. (Just saw it on our shelf!)

"A Friend For Dragon" by Dav Pilkey. This is subtle and humorous. Dragon makes friends with an apple. Another animals eats the apple. Dragon buries the apple. It grows into an apple tree.

message 26: by Greg (new)

Greg | 1 comments To toss two more into the mix...

The 10th Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst is about a cat that dies (and the funeral the family has for it).

Etan Boritzer's What is Death talks about how different religions and cultures view and react to death. Not a storybook, but a meta-overview or study written for kids.

message 27: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Kirei wrote: "Has "Charlotte's Web" been mentioned? Love that book!"

Oh! I forgot to mention that book! I thought it was very sad about what happened to Charlotte at the end.

message 28: by ABC (new)

ABC (mary6543) | 341 comments I don't think they are appropriate for dealing with an animal's death, but two more I thought of for older children are: "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Patterson and "Mick Harte was Here" by Barbara Park of Junie B. Jones fame.

The first one is heavy, and I haven't read the second one but it sounds both humorous and heavy.

message 29: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments I really love When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow.

I adore Bridge to Terabitha. I bought it for my (now adult) daughter when she was in 4th grade, but I read it first and cried so hard that she wouldn't go near it for a solid year.

message 30: by Sheila (last edited Apr 24, 2010 07:40AM) (new)

Sheila Welch (sheilakellywelch) This thread seems to have evolved into a discussion about dealing with death in middle-grade books. I remember reading THE YEARLING and being so sad when Jody has to kill Flag. Probably not the best for an uplifting title! When my (then)ten-year-old son read BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, I didn't believe him when he said, "The girl dies." Later, I read a study about how kids handle death in books, and apparently, quite a few 3rd and 4th graders insist that the character did not die after all. My writers critique group went to see the movie (no one else had read the book) and a lot of tissues got dampened!

I like MICK HARTE WAS HERE in which the main character's brother has died in an accident. Another truly special book that deals with the death of a classmate is OLIVE'S OCEAN by Kevin Henkes. I just reread it recently -- it's the kind of writing that is a joy to read.

message 31: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Sheila wrote: "I'm not sure if it's okay to mention but since it fits the discussion, here goes. One of my books also deals with death. It's for ten-to fourteen-year-olds and is called THE SHADOWED UNICORN. It just recently went out-of-print but can be found in libraries.

Sheila, This group has so much info and so many threads, it might be easy to miss, but actually it's not okay here for authors to self promote their own books. (It used to be okay but things got out of hand.) So, in order that your whole message post not be deleted, I regretfully suggest you delete just that portion of your message. You can use the "edit" thread to the bottom right of your post to edit it. Thanks!

message 32: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 21 comments A book I found when trying to prepare my daughter for our dog's passing (she was quite ill for several months) was Cynthia Rylant's Dog Heaven. It's wonderful! I even bought my inlaws their own copy when their dog unexpectedly died.

I haven't looked at it, but she also has Cat Heaven, for cat owners.

message 33: by Janet (new)

Janet | 6 comments I have been on Goodreads just a couple of months. And I want to add another title :Annie and the Old One to the list on death and dying. This particular title shows that no matter how we attempt to delay death that it does come. It was a Newbery Honor book that I adored because of the way the theme has handled as well as the great illustrations.

message 34: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8433 comments Mod
Another picture book that might be good (although I have not read it yet) is Grandpa's Angel (Opas Engel. in German). Oh, and by the way, the original German for the picture book Is Grandpa Wearing a Suit? which was already mentioned is Hat Opa einen Anzug an?.

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