Children's Books About Death

Culled from eight sources

These children's books about death and dying were recommended on more than one highly regarded list.

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Death and dying booklist
(Titles that appear as links are reviewed on this site)

Appearing on 4 bibliotherapy booklists

Appearing on 3 bibliotherapy booklists

  • Accident, The by Carol Carrick (dog)
  • Badger's Parting Gifts by Susan Varley (friend)
  • The Fall Of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia (oneself)
  • Goodbye Boat, The by Mary Joslin (aging loved one)
  • Goodbye Mousie by Robie H. Harris (small pet)
  • Grandpa's Slide Show by D. Gould (grandfather)
  • I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm (dog)
  • Jim's Dog Muffin by Miriam Cohen (dog)
  • Saying Goodbye to Daddy by Judith Vigna (father)
  • Saying Goodbye to Grandma by Jane Resh Thomas (grandmother)
  • Sophie by Mem Fox (grandfather)
  • Swan Sky by Keizaburo Tejima (sibling)
  • When A Pet Dies by Fred Rogers (pet)

Appearing on 2 bibliotherapy booklists

  • A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead by Nancy Leunn (grandmother)
  • A Little Bit of Rob by Barbara J. Turner (older brother)
  • Abuelita's Paradise by Carmen Santiago Nodar (grandmother)
  • Alfie and the Birthday Surprise by Shirley Hughes (cat)
  • Annie and the Old One by Miska Miles (grandmother)
  • Black Dog Who Went Into the Woods, The by Edith Thatcher Hurd  (dog)
  • Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant (cat) read a review of Rylant's Dog Heaven, in the same vein
  • Day Chubby Became Charles, The by Achim Broger (grandmother)
  • Emma Says Goodbye: A Child's Guide to Bereavement by Carolyn Nystrom (Aunt)
  • Everett Anderson's Goodbye by Lucille Clifton (father)
  • Fireflies, Peach Pies & Lullabies by Virgina Kroll (great-grandmother)
  • Fox Song by Joseph Bruchac (great-grandmother)
  • Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuijs (stranger)
  • Goodbye Max by Holly Keller (dog)
  • Grandad Bill's Song by Jane Yolen (grandfather)
  • Happy Funeral, The by Eve Bunting (grandfather)
  • How Do I Feel About When People Die? by Sarah Levette (pets, friends and relatives)
  • How It Feels When a Parent Dies by Jill Krementz (parent)
  • How to Live Forever by Colin Thompson (oneself)
  • Jasper's Day by Marjorie Blain Parker (dog)
  • Let's Talk about When a Parent Dies by Elizabeth Weitzman (parent)
  • Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen (pets, friends and relatives)
  • Molly's Rosebush by Janice Cohn  (miscarriage of a sibling)
  • Mustard by Charlotte Towner Graeber (cat)
  • Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs by Tomie DePaola (grandmother)
  • On Call Back Mountain by Eve Bunting (older friend)
  • Pearl's Marigolds for Grandpa by Jane Breskin Zalben (grandfather)
  • Remembering Mum by Ginny Perkins (mother)
  • Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (oneself)
  • Saddest Time, The by Norma Simon (others, from illness, accident and old age)
  • When Someone Dies by Sharon Greenlee (others)
  • You Hold Me and I'll Hold You by Jo Carson (aunt)

Other Books About Death - Special Mention

Children's books about death and dying

from The Butterfly's Funeral, by 'J.L.B.', illustrations by 'A Lady,' 1808 (cropped)

This list of children's books about death was compiled by consulting some of the best bibliotherapy booklists on the subject (from the US, Britain and Canada) and finding the books that were common to more than one list.

The eight sources I consulted were:

  • Bereavement: A Booklist for Children and Young People from the Birmingham (UK) Public Libraries
  • The Bibliotherapy Education Project at Oregon State University
  • Children's Books About Death and Dying at The Logan (Utah) Library
  • Death Booklist, culled from professional listservs by librarian Nancy Keane
  • El Paso (Texas) Public Library bibliotherapy booklist by librarian Laurel Indalecio
  • Sensitive Issues: Death, from the Seattle (Washington) Public Library
  • Picture Books Concerning Death and Loss, Penticton (British Columbia) Public Library
  • Children's Books About Death and Dying, Homewood (Illinois) Public Library

Amazon search results for children's books about death and dying.

This was just one of our bibliotherapy booklists.

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