Picture books about death

Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on The Immortalists for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.

As you’re reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.

For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.

5 Picture Books About Death

Duck, Death and the Tulip

1. Duck, Death, and Tulip (2007)| Wolf Erlbruch

Duck has an eerie feeling; it turns out Death has been following Duck all her life. They become friends and chat about life and the afterlife. This book discusses death using a straightforward yet elegant approach. (Age Range:  8 years and up)

Where Do They Go?

2. Where Do They Go? (2016) | Julia Alvarez

Alvarez doesn’t lighten up the subject of death, but tackles it head-on. She uses poetry to ponder the questions we’ve all had after a loss. This serious and beautiful book tackles a tough concept. (Age Range:  3-7 years)

The Tenth Good Thing About Barney

3. The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (1987) Julia Alvarez

Oftentimes, a child’s first encounter with death is through the loss of a beloved family pet. A child’s cat, Barney, dies and the mother suggests they think of ten good things to say about Barney, but the child can only think of nine. This book sweetly consoles grieving readers in an honest and direct manner. (Age Range:  6-9 years)

Death Is Stupid

4. Death Is Stupid (2016) | Anastasia Higginbotham

Everyone’s experience of death is personal. A person’s grief and pain isn’t any more or any less than another person’s – it’s just different. This book speaks to the reader in a frank and unapologetic voice. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

The Heart and the Bottle

5. The Heart and the Bottle (2010) | Oliver Jeffers

A girl, experiencing the pain of her dad’s death, locks her heart and grief in a bottle. However, in doing so, she also locks up any possibility for joy. This book explores what readers endure when they lose that special someone who showed them the magic and wonder in the world. (Age Range:  4-8 years)

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

Life is filled with ups and downs, light and darkness.

So don’t be afraid to explain the dark side of life, if necessary, to the inquisitive child. In an ideal world, a child wouldn’t have to experience death of any kind until he or she is fully mature. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for some children. Fortunately, there’s “bibliotherapy”, a genre of books that can heal the troubled soul. And if a book doesn’t offer relief, then a sibling will.

What other picture books would you add to the list?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: