Grief Resources for Children
Children grieve. The following books and films may help you to explore how a child in your life is feeling. The age categories are to give you a general idea of the age a work is pitched for but of course you can use books designed for children for people of any age.
The bereavement support charity, Cruse, have a number of resources on their website:
www.hopeagain.org.uk is a Cruse website specifically for young people
https://www.cruse.org.uk/children - this part of their website has numerous sections you might find helpful if you are trying to help a bereaved child or young person. There are sections including the funeral, complicated grief, and their own suggested reading list.
Never Too Young To Grieve by Winston’s Wish
The bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish, have produced this helpful book on supporting children under 5 who have experienced the death of a parent or carer, though much of the advice would be helpful if young children were grieving the death of someone else to whom they were close. It is written and presented clearly, with practical ideas for ways to talk to children of different ages, and activities you can do together to help the child to remember the person who has died, or to explore their feelings.
Supporting Children’s Experiences of Loss and Separation by Mary Barna - Pre-School Learning Alliance
This book discusses how young children respond to the range of loss they may experience, including the death of someone close to them. It offers guidance on offering appropriate support and more information on how children grieve.
Pre-school and Primary School
Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley
This is a story about a badger who is very old, and knows he will soon die. He tries to prepare his friends but they are still very sad when he dies. Gradually they come to appreciate the gifts Badger left behind in the form of skills he had given them which they continue to use. Though they remain sad that he is no longer with them, they can remember him with warmth.
Goodbye Mog by Judith Kerr
Granpa by John Burningham
The relationship between a little girl and her grandfather is explored as they have adventures at home, and on the beach. At the end of the book, Granpa’s chair is empty.
Is Daddy Coming Back In A Minute? By Elke Barber and Alex Barber
This is a true story. Alex was three when he was on holiday with his Daddy on a ‘No Girls Allowed’ holiday. His father had a heart attack and died. This book came from his mother, Elke, struggling to find a book which dealt with the sudden death of a parent. The book uses Alex’s own words and so will help people who are trying to talk to very young children about death. She has also since written ‘What happened to Daddy’s body?’, also with Alex’s help.
Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb
This book deals with the loss of a parent from a child's point of view. The many emotions a bereaved child may experience are explored, from anger to guilt and from sadness to bewilderment. And importantly, the book also focuses on the positive - the recognition that the child is still part of a family, and that his memories of his mother are to be treasured.
Sad Book by Michael Rosen
We were gonna have a baby, but we had an angel instead by Pat Schwiebert
This is a book to help talk about a stillborn baby or miscarriage with other young children in the family.
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death by Laurie Krasny Brown and Mark Brown
This is a non-fiction book about death, using cartoon dinosaurs to illustrate the text. It is a colourful and attractive book that helps to answer questions children might have about death. The pages answer questions such as ‘What does dead mean?’ and ‘Why does someone die?’ There are also pages about ways to remember people who have died.
Where do we go when we disappear by Isabel Minhos Martins
Has anyone seen Hammy by Nick Cope - a song about a pet hamster who dies
Nana’s noodles by Nick Cope - a song about Nana who made perfect noodles, and remembering her when you use her recipe to make noodles after she has died.
A Monster Calls