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Bereavement & Loss

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Bereavement & Loss Booklist

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 the loss of a loved one. Books can help children to empathise with others, explore big emotions and gently open conversations about difficult experiences including the death of a parent, relative or friend. 

Jayde Perkin
Picturebook

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.

Joseph Coelho
 & Robyn Wilson-Owen
Picturebook

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
 & Quentin Blake
Non-fiction

Although mostly about grieving, Michael Rosen’s Sad Book also explores sadness generally. This is 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.

 

 

Britta Teckentrup
Picturebook

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.

Susan Varley
Picturebook

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.

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Stone Girl Bone Girl

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