Over many years we have developed a list of books and resources which we and others have found helpful. If you would like further help in finding a title or would like to suggest a title to add to our listing please contact the Support and Information Team or call 01494 568900.
Please note: inclusion on this list does not constitute a recommendation by Child Bereavement UK, as we are aware that whether a book is helpful or not is subjective and as such is a decision that can only be made by the individual reader.
We have put links, where possible, from the books to their Amazon page. If you click through to Amazon via the hyperlinks and purchase a book Child Bereavement UK will receive a small commission from Amazon. It will not affect your purchase price, so please consider doing this.
The books on this page are suitable for a wide range of ages, from small children to young people. These books may be suitable for children and young people to read alone or with a parent or carer.
The Little Flower Bulb
Author: Eleanor Gormally
The Little Flower Bulb tells the story of Jamie, his mum and his twin sisters, and of how Jamie comes to deal with the death of his father. Suitable for children aged 3-8, this beautifully illustrated book will be helpful for parents when talking to children bereaved by the suicide of a close relative.
Author: Rebecca Cobb
Beautifully illustrated and with moments of wonderful warmth, this is a touching, honest and helpful book about the death of a parent. With minimum text, it touches on some of the worries and fears that a young child may have after a death, offering reassurance and hope
Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?
Author: Elke Barber & Alex Barber
Alex is only three when his father suffers a heart attack. All on his own, Alex manages to get help but his beloved Daddy dies at the scene. This is a good book to explain sudden death to pre-school children using words and illustrations they will understand
Someone I know has died
Author: Trish Phillips
An innovative activity book with interactive features written for bereaved children to do by themselves or with adult help. For pre-school and early years age groups.
Author: Robie H Harris
The story of a young boy dealing with the death of his pet mouse is handled with the sure touch of an author familiar with children’s tender emotions. Simply told by the boy, in a matter of fact tone with a dash of humour, he recounts his reactions to the death of his pet mouse.
I Miss You: a First Look at Death
Author: Pat Thomas
When a close friend or family member dies, it can be difficult for children to express their feelings. This book helps children understand that death is a natural complement to life, and that grief and a sense of loss are normal feelings for them to have. Suitable for children of preschool through early school age.
I Miss My Sister
Author: Sarah Courtauld
This book written by Sarah Courtauld and illustrated by Holly Surplice, is recommended for children aged 4-10 years old. The beautiful and expressive colour illustrations help to guide the child through the different emotions they may encounter following the death of a sibling, as well as the different categories of grief over a period of time. Now awarded ‘commended’ in BMA Patient Information Awards 2010.
Author: Dianne Leutner
It’s part book, part scrapbook and was created to help keep a child’s memories alive after the loss of someone special and to give children a place to return to whenever they wish.
Waterbugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young children
Author: Doris Stickney
Written from a Christian perspective, this acclaimed book can be used to help explain the concept of death to young children. The story illustrates that death is inevitable, irreversible but natural.
Always and Forever
Author: Alan Durant
When Fox dies the rest of his ‘family’ are absolutely distraught. How will Mole, Otter and Hare go on without their beloved friend? But, months later, Squirrel reminds them all of how funny Fox used to be, and they realise that Fox is still there in their hearts and memories.
The Lonely Tree
Author: Nicholas Halliday
This beautiful and moving story follows the first year in the life of a lone evergreen tree growing in the heart of the ancient oak woodland of the New Forest. The evergreen is befriended by the oldest oak who has lived for hundreds of years. When winter arrives all the oak trees must go to sleep, but of course evergreens never sleep. Finally, after a long, cold and lonely winter, spring brings both sadness and joy to the little tree.
When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope with Grief - Workbook
Author: M Heegard
This work book was designed to teach basic concepts of death and help children understand and express the many feelings they have when someone special dies. Communication is increased and coping skills are developed as they illustrate their books with their personal story.
Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died
Author: Winston’s Wish
Offering practical and sensitive support for bereaved children, this book suggests a helpful series of activities and exercises accompanied by the friendly characters of Bee and Bear. It aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on different aspects of their grief.
Remembering My Brother (Children's and Educational)
Author: Ginny Perkins and Leon Morris
In 1993, Chris Reed died. The author of this book has worked with his family to put this book together which aims to show the importance of talking about grief and loss and remembering with love someone important who has died. It relates ordinary family events alongside an account of the family’s visit to Chris’s grave.
Michael Rosen's Sad Book
Author: Michael Rosen
A very personal story that speaks to adults as well as children. The author describes feeling sad after the death of his son and what he does to try to cope with it.
A Teenage Guide to Coping with Bereavement
Author: Sarah Darwen
Contains practical advice and guidance for a young person managing confusing emotions when someone important in their life dies. Written by a young person whose father died.
What on Earth Do You Do When Someone Dies?
Author: Trevor Romaine & Elizabeth Verdick
Written by Trevor Romain, after his father died, this book suggests ways of coping with grief and offers answers to questions such as ‘Why do people have to die?” and “How can I say Goodbye?” Friendly, accessible text and illustrations aimed at ages 8-14.
Author: Shelley Gilbert
Aimed at 8-15 year olds. The focus is on the death of a parent, but suitable for the loss of a sibling, grandparent, friend. Author recommends that the book is used with an adult, at least initially.
Still Here with Me: Teenagers and Children on Losing a Parent
Author: Suzanne Sjoqvist
This book is a moving and thoughtful anthology of the experiences of thirty children and teenagers who have lost a parent. In their own words, children and young people of a variety of ages talk openly and honestly about losing their mother or father. They describe feelings of pain, loss and anger, the struggle to cope with the embarrassed reactions and silence of others, and the difficulties involved in rebuilding their lives. They also share happy and loving memories of their parents, and talk about the importance of remembering while learning to accept their parent’s deaths.
From a Clear Blue Sky
Author: Timothy Knatchbull
A powerful survivor’s account of the IRA bomb that killed the author’s 14-year-old twin brother, his grandparents and a family friend, published on the 30th anniversary of the atrocity.