Parents often wonder how to talk to their kids about grief. Here are some books on grief you can read to your kids to help them understand what they may be feeling.
The Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland and illustrated by Thea Baker take young readers through some of the feelings they may have after losing someone they love. The main character creates a “memory box” to help with their grief, providing a simple but strong suggestion that children can follow. A parent guide is also included in the back of the book.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, though not specifically about loss and grief, reminds children that love connects hearts, no matter what distance separates them. Through the Invisible String, children have a connection to those they lose. Love is stronger than loss.
Death is Stupid (Ordinary Terrible Things) by Anastasia Higginbotham allows children to explore their grief and the emotions that go along with it. Grief is a tangle of emotions from anger to sadness to fear and confusion. Death is Stupid helps children find their own way through grief.
Missing Mommy by Rebecca Cobb is a story that helps explain the different emotions that a child may experience. It allows children to recognize that grief has many emotions, ranging from sadness to anger and confusion while letting them know that whomever died, they are still loved and supported by their family.
Luna’s Red Hat: An Illustrated Storybook to Help Children Cope with Loss and Suicide by Emmi Smid is a book focused on talking to children about losing someone they love by suicide, an often difficult topic. This book can help children navigate their often confusing emotions and includes a guide to help parents.
I Miss You: A First Look at Death by Pat Thomas helps children understand that death is a natural part of life and that it’s ok for them to grief and feel a sense of loss. Helping children understand their emotions are ok, is the first step in helping children deal with them.
Where’s Jess: For Children Who Have a Brother or Sister Die by Joy and Marv Johnson, A Centering Corporation, is a simple book with very direct wording that can be used for helping children understand what happened when a sibling has died. It focuses on explaining what “dead” means and opening discussion with children about their emotions.
When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Tales: Life Guides for Families) by Laurene Krasny Brown and Marc Brown can be used to discuss any sort of grief with children. It helps them understand the terminology and emotions, and also provides suggestions about customs and how to remember the person they lost.
My Favorite Color is Blue. Sometimes.: A Journey Through Loss with Art and Color by Roger Hutchison uses art and colors to discuss different emotions associated with loss. Good for children and adults.
After a Suicide: An Activity Book for Grieving Kids by The Dougy Center is a practical guide that provides activities for teens following the loss of someone they love to suicide. It also helps parents or caregivers understand some of the complex emotions associated with suicide and addresses when they should seek professional help.
Memories Matter: Activities for Grieving Children & Teens by The Dougy Center provides 85 different activities that will help children and teens process their grief in a way that works best for them. Activities include movements, discussion, writing, and drawing and encourage the sharing of feelings and normalization of the grief process.
After a Death: An Activity Book for Children by the Dougy Center includes simple activities, including writing and drawing, for children to help them after any death. This book also provides tips on how to deal with changes that may also happen at home, school, and with friends.
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