Romans

Romans

Bereavement

& Loss

This list includes children's books that explore the topic of bereavement, with the emphasis on stories that support children and families to talk and think about loss of a loved one.

Mum’s Jumper

Jayde Perkin

This beautiful picture book is well suited for being in the hands of a child who experiences the loss of a loved one. It is a story of grief that manages to hold the complexity of the feelings of a child and her dad alongside the rawness of those emotions in a simple and perfect way. The child in the story finds comfort in her mum’s jumper. She muses why her mum left it behind, as she loved it so much. The child wears the jumper all of the time – the smell of her mum merging with her own smell. Her dad explains that grief is like the jumper – it stays the same size but she will grow into it – so the grief never goes away or diminishes, it is just that everything else grows around it.

No Longer Alone

Joseph Coelho & Robyn Wilson-Owen

In this poignant picture book from award-winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho, a little girl is sad and feels alone.  People say she’s quiet or shy, but she’s not.  She’s dealing with loss in her own way and, when she’s on her own, she makes a “racket” to express her sorrow.  By talking to her dad, she realises that she’s not alone.  A big cuddle from Dad doesn’t make the sorrow disappear, but it makes it manageable.  The last spread, with Dad and his daughters, surrounded by pictures of a missing mother, is poignant and moving. 

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

Michael Rosen & Quentin Blake

A starkly honest account of a father's grief, based on Michael Rosen's own experience of losing his son Eddie. Michael feels sad when he thinks about Eddie and in this book he describes the pain of living with his sadness and some of the things he does to try and cope with it.  A beautiful, truly human text with perfectly matched illustrations by Quentin Blake.

The Memory Tree

Britta Teckentrup

A quietly moving picture book offering a gentle and comforting story of bereavement. After fox dies, his friends come together to remember him and share the good times they had with him.  While they are reminiscing, a little plant begins to grow in the spot he died. Over time, it grows into the tallest tree in the forest and one that provides shelter to all the animals. 

Badger's Parting Gifts

Susan Varley

Badger's friends are very sad after he passes away. The friends begin to recall the special things he gave to each of them when he was alive - memories and blessings that mean that even though their friend is no longer with them physically, he will always have a place in their hearts. The publisher has also produced some accompanying resources in association with the charity Child Bereavement UK, aimed at using the book to support bereaved children.

The Goodbye Book

Todd Parr

A simple but effective picture book explaining the different emotions felt after the loss of a loved one. The bright and bold illustrations depict a goldfish losing its friend in the fishbowl, while the simple text gently reassures as it explains and validates the changing emotions associated with grief. A good choice for younger children and also for children with additional needs.

The Building Boy

Ross Montgomery Illustrator: David Litchfield

The boy loves his grandmother - a retired prize-winning architect - very dearly. He especially loves to snuggle up and look at photographs of her famous projects and listen to her promises to build him an extraordinary house. When his grandmother passes away, the boy is heartbroken. He looks in her garden at the building materials and sets about to build a new, enormous metal grandmother, who joyfully seizes his hand and takes him on an amazing journey to reach a beautiful house, where he finds the perfect space for grandmother at its heart. A gentle story about loss and ways to celebrate the legacy of those who pass away.

The Copper Tree

Hilary Robinson & Mandy Stanley

A gentle story for children about the loss of a teacher. A girl and her primary school classmates deal with the illness and death of their young teacher, Miss Evans. From first hearing about their teacher's illness, to seeing her visit school in a wheelchair having lost her hair and subsequently hearing the sad news that she has died. The children work with the other teachers to find ways to remember Miss Evans, including creating a tree full of memory leaves.

Rabbityness

Jo Empson

A vibrantly illustrated picture book about a rabbit with big personality. The other rabbits love his un-rabbity ways, especially how he fills the woods with colour and music. When rabbit suddenly disappears, the world seems a very sad and different place to his friends. Before long, the other rabbits discover that their friend has left them the materials to make art and music for themselves, and they can use it to celebrate his memory.

Grandad's Island

Benji Davies

A beautiful story about the loss of a beloved grandparent. When Syd and his Grandad go into the attic, they find themselves on a sailing ship travelling to a jungle-covered island. They have fun exploring the wonderful island and befriending its animals. Syd knows it will soon be time for him to go home, but Grandad decides to stay. Saying goodbye is hard as Syd returns home by himself, but he knows that Grandad will be happy staying in this beautiful place. 

The Garden of Hope

Isabel Otter & Katie Rewse

A father and daughter navigate their changed lives together after the loss of a mother. Dad tells Maya all about how Mum used to love spending time in the garden, and the pair find new comfort together in reviving the outdoor space together by clearing weeds, planting seeds and enjoying new growth. 

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his list includes children's books that explore the topic of bereavement, with the emphasis on stories that support children and families to talk and think about loss of a loved one. Mum’s Jumper Jayde Perkin This beautiful picture book is well suited for being in the hands of a child who experiences the loss of a loved one. It is a story of grief that manages to hold the complexity of the feelings of a child and her dad alongside the rawness of those emotions in a simple and perfect way. The child in the story finds comfort in her mum’s jumper. She muses why her mum left it behind, as she loved it so much. The child wears the jumper all of the time – the smell of her mum merging with her own smell. Her dad explains that grief is like the jumper – it stays the same size but she will grow into it – so the grief never goes away or diminishes, it is just that everything else grows around it. Buy on Amazon No Longer Alone Joseph Coelho & Robyn Wilson-Owen In this poignant picture book from award-winning performance poet, Joseph Coelho, a little girl is sad and feels alone.  People say she’s quiet or shy, but she’s not.  She’s dealing with loss in her own way and, when she’s on her own, she makes a “racket” to express her sorrow.  By talking to her dad, she realises that she’s not alone.  A big cuddle from Dad doesn’t make the sorrow disappear, but it makes it manageable.  The last spread, with Dad and his daughters, surrounded by pictures of a missing mother, is poignant and moving. Buy on Amazon Michael Rosen’s Sad Book Michael Rosen & Quentin Blake A starkly honest account of a father's grief, based on Michael Rosen's own experience of losing his son Eddie. Michael feels sad when he thinks about Eddie and in this book he describes the pain of living with his sadness and some of the things he does to try and cope with it.  A beautiful, truly human text with perfectly matched illustrations by Quentin Blake. ​ Buy on Amazon The Memory Tree Britta Teckentrup A quietly moving picture book offering a gentle and comforting story of bereavement. After fox dies, his friends come together to remember him and share the good times they had with him.  While they are reminiscing, a little plant begins to grow in the spot he died., Over time, it grows into the tallest tree in the forest and one that provides shelter to all the animals. Buy on Amazon Badger's Parting Gifts Susan Varley Badger's friends are very sad after he passes away. The friends begin to recall the special things he gave to each of them when he was alive - memories and blessings that mean that even though their friend is no longer with them physically, he will always have a place in their hearts. The publisher has also produced some accompanying resources in association with the charity Child Bereavement UK, aimed at using the book to support bereaved children. Buy on Amazon The Goodbye Book Todd Parr A simple but effective picture book explaining the different emotions felt after the loss of a loved one. The bright and bold illustrations show depict a goldfish losing its friend in the fish bowl, while simple text gentle reassures as it explains and validates the changing emotions associated with grief. A good choice for younger children and also for children with additional needs. Buy on Amazon The Building Boy Ross Montgomery Illustrator: David Litchfield The boy loves his grandmother - a retired prize-winning architect - very dearly. He especially loves to snuggle up and look at photographs of her famous projects and listen to her promises to build him an extraordinary house. When his grandmother passes away, the boy is heartbroken. He looks in her garden at the building materials and sets about to build a new, enormous metal grandmother, who joyfully seizes his hand and takes him on an amazing journey to reach a beautiful house, where he finds the perfect in space for grandmother at its heart. A gentle story about loss and ways to celebrate the legacy of those who pass away. Buy on Amazon The Copper Tree Hilary Robinson & Mandy Stanley A gentle story for children about the loss of a teacher. A girl and her primary school classmates deal with the illness and death of their young teacher, Miss Evans. From first hearing about their teacher's illness, to seeing her visit school in a wheelchair having lost her hair and subsequently hearing the sad news that she has died. The children work with the other teachers to find ways to remember Miss Evans, including created a tree full of memory leaves. ​ ​ ​ Buy on Amazon Rabbityness Jo Empson A vibrantly illustrated picture book about a rabbit with big personality. The other rabbits love his un-rabbity ways, especially how he fills the woods with colour and music. When rabbit suddenly disappears, the world seems a very sad and different place to his friends. Before long, the other rabbits discover that their friend has left them the materials to make art and music for themselves, and they can use it to celebrate his memory. Buy on Amazon Grandad's Island Benji Davies A beautiful story about the loss of a beloved grandparent. When Syd and his Grandad go into the attic, they find themselves on a sailing ship travelling to a jungle-covered island. They have fun exploring the wonderful island and befriending its animals. Syd knows it will soon be time for him to go home, but Grandad decides to stay. Saying goodbye is hard as Syd returns home by himself, but he knows that Grandad will be happy staying in this beautiful place. ​ Buy on Amazon The Garden of Hope Isabel Otter & Katie Rewse A father and daughter navigate their changed lives together after the loss of a mother. Dad tells Maya all about how Mum used to love spending time in the garden, and the pair find new comfort together in reviving the outdoor space together by clearing weeds, planting seeds and enjoying new growt

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