Death and grief are things that children will experience sometime in their lives – it’s unfortunate, but we’ve all been there. However, losing a loved one can be a traumatic experience for children.
So, how can parents and family members be able to talk to their children about death and grief? While we try our best to shield our children from such themes, they’re still everywhere, from television to real-life events. And, whether it’s the passing of a family member, a pet, a friend, or another loved one, children must cope with death at some point or another.
The good news, there are many children’s books that address the topic of death, and reassures children that there’s still hope and love, even if a loved one is gone. And, with said books, parents can still comfort their children when they experience sadness from a personal loss.
With that said, here are 7 of the most powerful children’s books that teach about death and grief, while still uplifting children:
1. The Journey – Francesca Sanna
“The topic of refugees has been a hot topic, especially when it comes to children,” says Jessica Winston, a lifestyle writer at Eliteassignmenthelp and Uktopwriters. In The Journey, Francesca Sanna tells a story about a family that’s forced to flee their home country, due to a unexpected tragedy and war. As a result, the family travels to find a new home, despite the hardships along the way.”
2. The Invisible String – Patrice Karst
Patrice Karst tells a story about a string that can have more connections than one. The story follows two siblings who learn about the invisible string that connects to the people that they love, and vice versa. As such the “invisible string” holds feelings of love, separation, despair, anger, and death. As a result, Karst introduces a comforting story of how feelings of love cannot be broken, no matter the circumstances.
3. Our Tree Named Steve – Alan Zweibel
When a father’s passing leads to a letter from him saying that he had a favorite tree that he would have fond memories of, the family manages to spare that tree from builders. Afetrwards, the tree becomes a centerpiece for many more memories being made moving forward. Our Tree Named Steve is a sweet story about family and loss; but as the story progresses, there’s a sense of love and hope that allows more cherished memories to thrive even after a loved one is gone.
4. Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You – Nancy Tillman
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You is a wonderful testament of how one’s love never goes away, no matter the circumstance. Although death isn’t explicitly mentioned in this book, it still manages to reassurance readers – children, especially – that they’ve always have the love of their parents, even as they grow up. It’s a beautiful that teaches children about unconditional love, even when families aren’t together.
5. Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs – Tomie dePaola
This story follows a young boy named Tommy, as he helps his grandmother take care of his elderly great-grandmother. Tommy loves his two grandmas, and he shares a bond with both. But then, the great-grandmother passes away, and then his grandmother. It’s with both deaths that Tommy must come to terms with them, even if it’s hard to say goodbye.
6. A Stone For Sascha – Aaron Becker
“Aaron Becker weaves a story of heartbreak and hope in this picture book,” says Francis Paige, an educator at Revieweal and Bestbritishessays. “In A Stone for Sascha, a young girl is sadness that she had lost her pet dog while on a family vacation. She then comes across a golden pebble on the beach, which becomes a turning point for her grief.”
7. Always Remember – Cece Meng
Finally, Always Remember is a book about loss and hope. In this story, the sea animals are devastated when Old Turtle takes his last breath, and he’s carried off by the waves. It was then that the animals think back at how he had changed their lives in many ways than one. In short, this book teaches that although someone had passed away, their legacy and memories will live on forever.
Death is something that children will learn about eventually. However, it’s important to be there for our children, whenever they’re having feelings of grief and sadness from losing a loved one. Check out these 7 books, and be sure to offer comfort and support to children – everything will be okay.
Kristin Herman is a writer at Oxessays and Big Assignments. She is also a contributing writer for online magazine and blogs, such as Study demic. As a marketing writer, she blogs about the latest trends in digital and social media marketing.