|photo from hospice|
This is a long weekend in America. Monday is a national holiday, Memorial Day, when we have parades and services honoring the soldiers that have lost their lives protecting our country. But, Americans also remember those they have lost personally who weren't in the military as well.
Click here to see our article about the stages of grief children go through at different stages and ages of their lives. Below are some super children's books about the topic of death and dying to share with children that have lost a loved one.
I'll Always Love Youby Hans Wilhelm
This book is great for children in preschool until about second grade. In I’ll Always Love You, a young boy and his dog, Elfie, grow up together. The first illustration shows them both eating dog food out of the dog’s bowl. The story progresses with more special shared times. As Elfie gets older and slower, the boy takes care of the dog. When the dog can no longer go for walks, the boy puts him in a wagon and takes him for a ride. When the dog can no longer climb the stairs, the boy carries him. Every night, the boy tells Elfie “I’ll always love you.” One night, the dog unexpectedly dies. As the family is burying Elfie, the boy finds comfort in knowing that he had always told the dog he loved him. This book perfectly captures, in both words and illustrations, the love a boy has for his dog. It is humorous as well as sad. Review by Wendy on Epinions.
Remembering Crystal by Sebastian Loth
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book that introduces a big subject to little ones (three- to nine-years-old). Crystal had lived in the garden for many years. She was growing old. Zelda was just starting out in life. They were best friends. They read books together. They took trips together. And they talked about everything. But one day Crystal was not in the garden. She had died. In this gentle story, children learn, with Zelda, that true friendship is a gift that doesn’t die. This book is perfect for kids three- to nine-years-old. Review by goodreads.
Safe At Homeby Sharon Robinson
Ten-year-old Elijiah Breeze, a.k.a. Jumper, is having the hardest summer of his life. His father has just died; his mother has moved them from the suburbs to New York City's Harlem area; and he has to spend the summer at baseball camp. Basketball is Jumper's game. He doesn't know anything about baseball, or city life, or how to keep going without his dad. Jumper struggles in his new life, but he's encouraged by the support of his coach and his grandma's wisdom. He finds out it is possible to start over in a new place with new people . . . and still hold on to what's important from his past. Books is most appropriate for children's ages 9 and up. Review by goodreads.
If Onlyby Carole Geithner
This is a great book for kids 10-years-old and up to read about one girl's journey through loss and grief. The main character Corinna, is crushed after her mother dies of cancer. How does she get through the funeral, trays of ziti, a father who can't communicate, the first day of school, Mother's Day, people who don't know what to say, and the entire eighth-grade year? Despite her alienation from many of her peers, including her best friend, she succeeds in finding support. She dares to bare her innermost fears, hurts, and wishes, and even allows herself to have a flowering crush on a boy in the school band. She also finds her mother's diary, which changes everything. Beautiful, searing, and honest. This book is recommended for kids 10-years-old and up. Review from goodreads.