Death and grief are natural parts of the human experience, but addressing such heavy topics with kids can seem daunting.
To aid parents in these discussions, we’ve rounded up 25 children’s books that help kids understand death and grief.
“The Invisible String”
“The Invisible String” helps children cope with difficult emotions such as loss and anxiety.
“Chester Raccoon And The Acorn Full Of Memories”
After his friend Skiddel Squirrel dies in an accident, the title character copes with this loss and learns to share and appreciate memories of their times together.
“I Miss You”
This installment in the “A First Look At” series from psychotherapist Pat Thomas helps young kids understand death and feelings of loss.
“When Dinosaurs Die”
This guide to death and grief tackles topics like what “dead” and “alive” mean, the feelings that death evokes, how to say goodbye and how to remember someone after they’re gone.
“The Memory Box”
“The Memory Box” tells the story of a child who processes the death of a loved one by making a special box of mementos and written memories.
“Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile”
After the passing of her father, the title character learns to cope with her grief by talking about feelings.
A polar bear deals with the sickness and loss of a friend in this emotional story.
“Death Of Cupcake”
Written from the perspective of a child, “Death Of Cupcake” opens up a dialogue about life, loss and grief.
“One Wave At A Time”
This poetic book helps children process difficult emotions and heal from loss.
“The Heart And The Bottle”
A little girl struggles with painful emotions after the death of her father in this symbolic story about grief.
“Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You”
This book reminds children that even if they can’t be with the ones they hold dear, their love will always be present.
“A Hui Hou: Until We Meet Again”
After losing their father in a tragic accident, the Bugge children teamed up with their mother to write a kids’ book about managing grief.
“Lifetimes” offers a roadmap for explaining death to kids through sensitive language and images of plants, animals and humans.
This book covers the loss of a grandparent and highlights the special role they can play in children’s lives, before and after death.
“Always Remember” follows sea creatures as they mourn and honor a turtle after his death.
“The Dragonfly Door”
A water nymph processes the loss of her friend in this sweet tale.
“I’ll Always Love You”
“I’ll Always Love You” captures the special relationship between a boy and his dog and the experience of grief after she dies.
“When My Daddy Died, I…”
Author K.J. Reider’s father passed away when he was only 7 years old. This book reflects his journey of grief and healing.
“The Goodbye Book”
A pet fish loses a friend and copes with his feelings of sadness and grief.
“Rosie Remembers Mommy: Forever In Her Heart”
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published this book to show how children can find comfort as they grieve and normalize the emotions that accompany loss.
“Ladder To The Moon”
President Barack Obama’s half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, wrote this book for her daughter, who wished she could’ve known her late grandmother.
“Sad Isn’t Bad”
“Sad Isn’t Bad” guides children through the process of grieving, talking about emotions and feeling less alone.
“A Stone For Sascha”
A young girl mourns her beloved dog and learns how to process the reality of death in this thoughtful story.
“The Day My Dad Turned Invisible”
Based on the author’s experience with his father’s death, “The Day My Dad Turned Invisible” highlights the emotions children feel after a painful loss.
A boy deals with sadness, anger, fear and more as he copes with the death of his mother.
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