Picture Books: Coping with Death

All items listed below can be found in the Children's Room.
Please also check the Children's (J155.9), Parents' Corner (155.9), and Adult sections (155.9) for additional materials

Picture Books

DePaola, Tomie. Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs J PIC DEP
Four-year-old Tommy enjoys his relationship with both his grandmother and great-grandmother, but eventually learns to face their inevitable death.

Durant, Alan. Always and Forever J PIC DUR
A family of forest animals learns to cope with the death of a loved one by recalling funny memories.

Krishnaswami, Uma. Remembering Grandpa J PIC KRI
When Grandma comes down with a "bad case of sadness" one year after Grandpa's death, Daysha collects objects that will remind her grandmother of Daysha's grandfather.

Mellonie, Bryan. Lifetimes: A Beautiful Way To Explain Death To Children J PB PIC M and J PARENTS' CORNER PIC MEL
Explains that all living things have a time on earth, that death is a natural part of the life cycle.

Viorst, Judith. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney J PIC SMALL VIO and J PB PIC V
A classic story of a boy grieving over his pet cat that explores universal questions and emotions that arise when coping with the death of a person, as well.

Zolotow, Charlotte. My Grandson Lew J PIC SMALL ZOL
Together Lewis and his mother remember Grandpa, who used to come in the night when Lewis called.

Parents' Corner

Brisson, Pat. I Remember Miss Perry J PARENTS' CORNER PIC BRI
When his teacher, Miss Perry, is killed in a car accident, Stevie and his elementary school classmates take turns sharing memories of her, especially her fondest wish for each day.

Brown, Laurie Krasny. When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death J PARENTS' CORNER 155.937 BRO and J 155.937 BRO
Explains in simple language the questions and feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.

Castellucci, Cecil. Grandma's Gloves J PARENTS' CORNER PIC CAS
When her grandmother, a devoted gardener, dies, a little girl inherits her gardening gloves and feels closer to her memory.

Cobb, Rebecca. Missing Mommy J PARENTS' CORNER PIC COB
A very young boy doesn't understand that he will not see his mother again because she has died; he's confused, angry, and afraid until he talks to his father who explains things clearly and helps him understand he is part of a family that will help each other to heal.

Londner, Renee. Stones for Grandpa J PARENTS' CORNER PIC LON
After a year of missing his grandfather and remembering things they did together, a young boy and his family unveil Grandpa's tombstone, place stones on it, and share stories, knowing the memories will never be lost.

London, Jonathan. Liplap's Wish J PARENTS' CORNER PIC LON
As he builds a snowbunny, Liplap feels something is missing and wishes his grandmother, who recently died, was with him.

MacGregor, Cynthia. Why Do People Die?: Helping Your Child Understand--With Love and Illustrations J PARENTS' CORNER 155.9 MAC
Explains death, its effect on the living, and some of the beliefs, customs, and rituals associated with it.

Mathers, Petra. When Aunt Mattie Got Her Wings J PARENTS' CORNER PIC MAT
When Aunt Mattie dies, best friends Lottie and Herbie console each other and celebrate Aunt Mattie's life by scattering her ashes and preparing her favorite snack--peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (with bananas).

Moundlic, Charlotte. The Scar J PARENTS' CORNER PIC MOU
A little boy works through some very raw emotions after his mother's death—anger, fear, sadness—but ultimately finds some peace.

Portnoy, Mindy Avra. Where Do People Go When They Die? J PARENTS' CORNER 155.9 POR
A child poses this question to numerous people including her father, grandfather, and aunt. Various answers are given at a level even young children can understand.

Raschka, Chris. The Purple Balloon J PARENTS' CORNER PIC RAS
Easy-to-read text reveals that dying is hard work, for the old and especially the young, and how good it is that so many people help when a person dies, from medical staff to clergy and friends to family members.

Rosen, Michael. Michael Rosen's Sad Book J PARENTS' CORNER PIC ROS
We all have sad stuff. What makes Michael Rosen most sad is thinking about his son, who died. In this book he writes about how his sadness affects him and some of the things he does to try to cope with it.

Schick, Eleanor. Mama J PARENTS' CORNER PIC SCH
A child remembers special moments with Mama and starts to feel better after grieving over her death.

Sinykin, Sheri. Zayde Comes to Live J PARENTS' CORNER PIC SIN
Rachel worries where her grandfather, Zayde, will go when he dies. While this book focuses on the Jewish vision of the afterlife, it also presents other religions' beliefs. Ultimately Rachel finds comfort in the idea that Zayde will live on in her memory.

Thomas, Jane Resh. Saying Good-bye to Grandma J PARENTS' CORNER THO
Seven year old Suzie is curious and fearful about what Grandma's funeral will be like.

Thomas, Pat. I Miss You: A First Look at Death J PARENTS' CORNER THO
Children's feelings and questions about this sensitive subject are looked at in a simple but realistic way. This book helps them to understand their loss and to come to terms with their feelings.


Buscaglia, Leo. The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life For All Ages J 155.937 BUS
As Freddie experiences the changing seasons along with his companion leaves, he learns about the delicate balance between life and death.

Cohn, Janice. I Had a Friend Named Peter: Talking To Children About the Death of a Friend J 155.9 COH
When Betsy learns about the death of a friend, her parents and kindergarten teacher answer questions about dying, funerals, and the burial process.

Shriver, Maria. What's Heaven? J 155.937 SHR
After her great grandmother's death, a young girl questions her mother about heaven.