25 Children's Books That Explain Death And Grief To Kids

These stories help kids understand and process loss.

Death and grief are natural parts of the human experience, but addressing such heavy topics with kids can seem daunting.

There are many ways to dive into this conversation, and one powerful approach is through books. Authors of children’s books have tackled how to explain death, the emotions that accompany loss, the grieving process and more in age-appropriate ways.

To aid parents in these discussions, we’ve rounded up 25 children’s books that help kids understand death and grief.

1
"The Invisible String"
"The Invisible String" helps children cope with difficult emotions such as loss and anxiety. (Available here)
2
"Chester Raccoon And The Acorn Full Of Memories"
After his friend Skiddel Squirrel dies in an accident, the title character copes with this loss and learns to share and appreciate memories of their times together. (Available here)
3
"I Miss You"
This installment in the "A First Look At" series from psychotherapist Pat Thomas helps young kids understand death and feelings of loss. (Available here)
4
"When Dinosaurs Die"
This guide to death and grief tackles topics like what "dead" and "alive" mean, the feelings that death evokes, how to say goodbye and how to remember someone after they're gone. (Available here)
5
"The Memory Box"
"The Memory Box" tells the story of a child who processes the death of a loved one by making a special box of mementos and written memories. (Available here)
6
"Samantha Jane's Missing Smile"
After the passing of her father, the title character learns to cope with her grief by talking about feelings. (Available here)
7
"Ida, Always"
A polar bear deals with the sickness and loss of a friend in this emotional story. (Available here)
8
"Death Of Cupcake"
Written from the perspective of a child, "Death Of Cupcake" opens up a dialogue about life, loss and grief. (Available here)
9
"One Wave At A Time"
This poetic book helps children process difficult emotions and heal from loss. (Available here)
10
"The Heart And The Bottle"
A little girl struggles with painful emotions after the death of her father in this symbolic story about grief. (Available here)
11
"Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You"
This book reminds children that even if they can't be with the ones they hold dear, their love will always be present. (Available here)
12
"A Hui Hou: Until We Meet Again"
After losing their father in a tragic accident, the Bugge children teamed up with their mother to write a kids' book about managing grief. (Available here)
13
"Lifetimes"
"Lifetimes" offers a roadmap for explaining death to kids through sensitive language and images of plants, animals and humans. (Available here)
14
"Grandad's Island"
This book covers the loss of a grandparent and highlights the special role they can play in children's lives, before and after death. (Available here)
15
"Always Remember"
"Always Remember" follows sea creatures as they mourn and honor a turtle after his death. (Available here)
16
"The Dragonfly Door"
A water nymph processes the loss of her friend in this sweet tale. (Available here)
17
"I'll Always Love You"
"I'll Always Love You" captures the special relationship between a boy and his dog and the experience of grief after she dies. (Available here)
18
"When My Daddy Died, I..."
Author K.J. Reider's father passed away when he was only 7 years old. This book reflects his journey of grief and healing. (Available here)
19
"The Goodbye Book"
A pet fish loses a friend and copes with his feelings of sadness and grief. (Available here)
20
"Rosie Remembers Mommy: Forever In Her Heart"
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network published this book to show how children can find comfort as they grieve and normalize the emotions that accompany loss. (Available here)
21
"Ladder To The Moon"
President Barack Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, wrote this book for her daughter, who wished she could've known her late grandmother. (Available here)
22
"Sad Isn't Bad"
"Sad Isn't Bad" guides children through the process of grieving, talking about emotions and feeling less alone. (Available here)
23
"A Stone For Sascha"
A young girl mourns her beloved dog and learns how to process the reality of death in this thoughtful story. (Available here)
24
"The Day My Dad Turned Invisible"
Based on the author's experience with his father's death, "The Day My Dad Turned Invisible" highlights the emotions children feel after a painful loss. (Available here)
25
"The Scar"
A boy deals with sadness, anger, fear and more as he copes with the death of his mother. (Available here)