Books to help grieving children

April 30, 2004

Faye Altizer, bereavement and social services director for Hospice of Washington County Inc., recommends these picture books for children who are grieving the death of a loved one:

  • "Pink Stars and Angel Wings" by Susan Ekberg - A girl is told that there is a special star for everyone. When she wakes up, an angel has left a feather on her pillow.

  • "Lifetimes" by Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen - This book uses nature to explain to children that dying is as much a part of living as being born.

  • "Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope" by Donna O'Toole - Aarvy finds strength and courage after dealing with losses in his life.

  • "The Fall of Freddie the Leaf" by Leo Buscaglia - Nature and the changing seasons of life are used to explain how death can be seen as a natural part of living.

Washington County Free Library children's department has a section called Parents' Place featuring books on parenting skills and social issues. These books are designated with a JPAR call number.


The library has several titles for grieving children, including:

  • "Let's Talk About When a Parent Dies" by Elizabeth Weitzman, the picture book story of an 8-year-old whose father dies. Children learn about some of the feelings they may have following the death of a parent.

  • "After Charlotte's Mom Died" by Cornelia Spelman, the picture book story of a 6-year-old whose mother dies in a car accident. Charlotte and her dad work through the pain together with the help of a counselor.

  • "The Grieving Child: A Parent's Guide" by Helen Fitzgerald, a resource guide for adults that includes information on how children may react to death at various ages, from preschool to the teen years. Fitzgerald also includes ideas on helping children work through grief with clay, physical activity, drawing, tape recorders, writing and puppets.
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