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CSS ChoiceBook Loss and Grieving

Page history last edited by Kristen Kirk 11 years ago

The picture books on this list deal with the following subjects:


loss and grieving; Death of a grandparent; Death of a Parent; Death of a sibling(s); Loss of a dog; Loss of cat; Loss of other pets,



Loss and Grieving (general)

Badger’s Parting Gifts. Susan Varley. Ages 3-8.

After Badger dies, his friends take comfort in the special memories they have of the things they did together.

A Story for Hippo: A Book About Loss. Simon Puttock. Ages 3-7.

Hippo and Monkey are best, best friends and when the wise old Hippo dies, Monkey is very sad until Chameleon helps him remember the stories he and Hippo shared.

What's heaven? Maria Shriver. Ages 4-9.

After her great-grandmother's death, a young girl learns about heaven by asking her mother all kinds of questions.

The Blue Pearls. Elizabeth Stuart Warfel. Ages 5-9.

Elise cannot leave her life on earth and join the angels until they have completed her sapphire-blue dress. The story of the passage through death from the perspective of a small angel.


Death of Grandparent

The Christmas Thingamajig. Lynn Manuel. Ages 5-9.

On the first Christmas after her grandmother’s death, a young girl comes to terms with her own anger and guilt, and learns that memories and rituals can help heal hearts.

Come Back, Grandma. Sue Limb. Ages 3-7.

Bessie misses her grandmother when she dies, but when Bessie grows up, she has a little girl of her own who looks and behaves just like Grandma.

Eleanor, Arthur, and Claire. Diane Engel. Ages 3-7.

Claire, a young mouse, loves spending her summers with her grandparents, and although she finds things changed after her grandfather's death, she and her grandmother find the strength to go on without him.

Good-Bye, Vivi! Antonie Schneider. Ages 5-8.

When Granny's beloved canary Vivi dies, the family comes to accept it, as well as the idea that some day they will lose Granny as well.

Grandad Bill’s Song. Jane Yolen. Ages 5-8.

As his relatives relate how they felt when his grandfather died, a boy is surprised at the memories they share with him, and then is able to share his own feelings.

The Grandad Tree. Trish Cooke. Ages 3-7.

The changing nature of their apple tree reminds Leigh and Vin of their grandfather, who is gone but lives on in their memories.

Grandpa’s Slide Show. Deborah Gould. Ages 4-8.

Whenever they visit Grandpa, Sam and Douglas always watch a slide show. After Grandpa dies, the slide show becomes a way to remember him.

The Happy Funeral. Eve Bunting. Ages 5-9.

A Chinese-American girl pays tribute to her grandfather as she assists in the preparations for his funeral.

Liplap’s Wish. Jonathon London. Ages 3-6.

As he builds a snowbunny, Liplap misses his grandmother who recently died. His mother comforts him by helping him to imagine that his grandmother is now a star in the sky.

Marianne’s Grandmother. Bettina Egger. Ages 3-7.

After her grandmother dies, a little girl remembers all the good times they had together.

My Grandfather’s House. Bruce Coville. Ages 4-7.

When the child feels the cool, smooth fingers of his dead grandfather, he finally understands that Grandpa no longer lives in the house that was his body.

My Grandma Leonie. Bijou Le Tord. Ages 2-5.

In this simple book, a child remembers the quiet things they did together.

My Grandson Lew. Charlotte Zolotow. Ages 2-6.

Together Lewis and his mother remember Grandpa, who used to come in the night when Lewis called.

Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs. Tomie de Paola. Ages 3-7.

Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable deaths.

Old Pig. Margaret Wild. Ages 2-6.

Because Old Pig knows that her time to die is near, she puts her affairs in order and takes a slow walk with Granddaughter to savor the beauty for one last time in this comforting book.

One More Wednesday. Malika Doray. Ages 3-7.

When a little animal's grandmother dies, he remembers good times with her and asks his mother about death.

Poppy’s Chair. Karen Hesse. Ages 4-8.

On her first summer visit to her grandmother since her grandfather's death, Leah is saddened by his absence, but Gramm helps her learn how to remember Poppy with joy.

Remember the Butterflies. Anna Grossnickle Hines. Ages 3-7.

When a boy and girl find a dead butterfly in the garden, their grandfather explains that life will go on in the eggs it had left behind. After their grandfather dies, their mother comforts them with the thought that they are his legacy as are the beautiful things he has left behind.

Sophie. Mem Fox. Ages 3-6.

As Sophie grows bigger and her grandfather gets smaller, they continue to love each other very much.

Sweet, Sweet Memory. Jacqueline Woodson. Ages 3-8.

A child and her grandmother feel sad when Grandpa dies but as time passes, funny memories of him make them laugh and feel better.

Thank You, Grandpa. Lynn Plourde. Ages 4-9.

Over the years a grandfather and granddaughter enjoy many walks together appreciating nature’s life cycles. One day the granddaughter walks alone, but her grandfather’s lessons remain.

A Time for Remembering. Chuck Thurman. Ages 5-8.

After his grandfather's death, a boy remembers the intimate experiences they shared and follows his grandfather's last request.

The Two of Them. Aliki. Ages 4-8.

In gentle prose, describes the relationship of a grandfather and his granddaughter from her birth to his death.

Waiting for the Whales. Sheryl McFarlane. Ages 4-8.

A little girl and her grandfather spend summer evenings waiting on the shore for the whales to come, and after his death, she waits for the orcas to return, thinking about the special bond they shared.

Where is Grandpa? T.A. Barron. Ages 5-9.

After his beloved grandfather's death, a boy realizes that his grandfather is still with him through the stories each family member shares.



Death of a Parent

After Charlotte’s Mom Died. Cornelia Spelman. Ages 4-8.

After her mom’s death in a car accident, six-year-old Charlotte feels sad, mad, and scared, until she and her dad visit a therapist who helps them acknowledge and express their feelings.

Daddy’s Chair. Sandy Lanton. Ages 4-8.

When Michael's father dies, his family sits shiva, observing the Jewish week of mourning, and remembers the good things about him.

Daddy’s Promise. Cindy Klein Cohen. Ages 4-8.

After the death of his father, Jesse is angry and filled with questions. Why did his daddy have to die? What happens when someone dies? Where do they go? Jesse's questions are answered both by his mother, and in a series of dreams where Jesse visits his father and learns about life, death, and life after death.

Flamingo Dream. Donna Jo Napoli. Ages 4-9.

Grieving over her father's death from cancer, a young girl celebrates their last year together by making a book that includes mementos and a story.

Mama. Eleanor Schick Ages 5-8.

This is a gentle exploration of a child's grief over the death of her mother. The girl remembers her mother’s announcement of the illness, the introduction of a loving caretaker, her mother's death and its aftermath, and the girl's own eventual acceptance--not of the death, but of her mother's continuing presence through memories.

A Quilt for Elizabeth. Benette W. Tiffault. Ages 5-10.

When Elizabeth's father dies, her grandmother helps her make a quilt that is full of memories for them both.

Some of the Pieces. Melissa Madenski. Ages 5-9.

On the first anniversary of his dad's death, a boy talks about his memories and his feelings as his family scatter the last of Dad's ashes in the river. He remembers his anger and his sorrow and also how he began to feel better.

Saying Goodbye to Daddy. Judith Vigna. Ages 4-8.

Frightened, lonely, and angry after her father is killed in a car accident, Clare is helped through the grieving process by her mother and grandfather.


Death of a sibling(s)

A Little Bit of Rob. Barbara J. Turner. Ages 4-8.

After Rob's death, his parents and younger sister find that taking their boat out crabbing and handling his old sweatshirt allow them to come to terms with his memory.

Molly’s Rosebush. Janice Cohn. Ages 4-8.

When the new baby they've been expecting is stillborn, Molly and her family find different ways to express their feelings and comfort each other.

Stacey Had A Little Sister. Wendie C. Old. Ages 3-7.

Stacy has mixed feelings about her new sister Ashley, but when the baby dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Stacy is sad and misses her.

That Summer. Tony Johnston. Ages 5-9.

A boy remembers the last summer with his dying brother and the quilt they sewed full of memories and love.


Loss of a Dog

The Accident. Carol Carrick. Ages 5-9.

After his dog, Bodger, is hit by a truck and killed, Christopher must deal with his own feelings of depression and guilt.

Jim’s Dog Muffins. Miriam Cohen. Ages 3-7.

When Jim's dog is killed, the other first graders comfort and experience with him his natural reactions to death.

A Dog Like Jack. Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan. Ages 4-8.

After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.

I’ll Always Love You. Hans Wilhelm. Ages 3-8.

A child's sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the memory of saying to it every night, "I'll always love you” in this gentle, moving story.

Murphy and Kate. Ellen Howard. Ages 5-10.

Kate and her dog Murphy have grown up together and are best friends, but when Murphy dies of old age Kate does not think she can ever be happy again.

Better with Two. Barbara M. Joosee. Ages 3-7.

Laura tries to make Mrs. Brady feel better when her dog Max dies.

Goodbye, Max. Holly Keller. Ages 3-8.

Ben is angry when his dog dies of old age and will not accept the new puppy until he learns to deal with his grief.

Ada’s Pal. George Ella Lyon. Ages 3-8.

A small dog suffers from a broken heart when her dog companion dies until a veterinarian advises the family that there is only one thing to do – get another dog.

Dog Heaven. Cynthia Rylant. Ages 3-8.

God created Dog Heaven, a place where dogs can eat ice cream biscuits, sleep on fluffy clouds, and run through unending fields.

Toby. Margaret Wild. Ages 4-10.

Toby is an old and sick dog. His family does their best to care for him and they also learn that change is not as easy for some people to accept.


Loss of a Cat

The Tenth Good Thing about Barney. Judith Viorst. Ages 4-8.

In an attempt to overcome his grief, a boy tries to think of the ten best things about his dead cat.

Goodbye, Mitch. Ruth Wallace-Brodeur. Ages 5-9.

A young boy comforts and cares for his terminally ill cat.

The Bug Cemetery. Frances Hill. Ages 4-8.

Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet cat.

Cat Heaven. Cynthia Rylant. Ages 3-7.

God created Cat Heaven, with fields of sweet grass where cats can play, kitty-toys for them to enjoy, and angels to rub their noses and ears.

Mustard. Charlotte Graeber. Ages 8-10.

Eight-year-old Alex and his family try to come to terms with the old age and death of their beloved cat, Mustard.

Whiskers Once and Always. Doris Orgel. Ages 8-10.

When her beloved cat Whiskers dies, Rebecca finds it difficult at first to vent her anger and accept her mother's comfort.


Loss of Other Pets

Tough Boris. Mem Fox. Ages 2-6.

Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris cries when his parrot dies.

Goodbye Mousie. Robie H. Harris. Ages 3-8.

A boy grieves for his dead pet Mousie, helps to bury him, and begins to come to terms with his loss.

Helen the Fish. Virginia L. Kroll. Ages 4-8.

When six-year-old Hannah's beloved goldfish dies after a relatively long life, she seeks comfort from her older brother Seth.



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