Book Lists

Book Lists


Introducing the Concept of a Lifetime to a Preschooler

Brown, Laurene Krasny.
J 155.937 BRO
Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died.

Bryant-Mole, Karen.
J 155.937 BRY
Focuses on death as part of a natural cycle and as part of the entire process of life; also discusses common responses to death.

Buscaglia, Leo F.
As Freddie experiences the changing seasons along with his companion leaves, he learns about the delicate balance between life and death.

Goldman, Linda, 1946-
J 155.937 GOL

Joslin, Mary, 1953-
Presents the phenomena of grief and loss and the concept that death is not the end.

Genechten, Guido van.
While looking for chestnuts in the woods, Ricky finds a squirrel lying on the ground. Is he sleeping? Or is he ill? Ricky's mother and father know the answer.

Brown, Margaret Wise, 1910-1952, author.
When they find a dead bird, a group of children bury it in the woods, sing a song to it, and put flowers on the grave.

Parr, Todd, author, illustrator.
Illustrations and brief text relate how a person might feel when they lose someone they love.

Death of a Pet or Other Animal

Cochran, Bill, 1966-
Mike and his dog Corky plan to be best friends forever, so when Corky becomes sick and dies, Mike is angry about the broken promise.

Demas, Corinne.
When her dog Lulu dies, a girl grieves but then continues with her life.

Fox, Mem, 1946-
Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrots dies.

Harris, Robie H.
A boy grieves for his dead pet Mousie, helps to bury him, and begins to come to terms with his loss.

Huneck, Stephen.
A beloved dog dies and goes to heaven where she lives happily and helps to find her family on earth a new pet.

Rohmann, Eric.
Although devastated when his pet dog dies, a young boy goes trick-or-treating and receives a timely visit from an old friend during a scary encounter with graveyard skeletons.

Smith, Maggie, 1965-
A child describes how Dexter the cat had always been part of the family and how much he was loved even after he died.

Viorst, Judith.
In an attempt to overcome his grief, a boy tries to think of the ten best things about Barney, his dead cat.

Walsh, Barbara (Barbara Ann)
A little girl tells about her special pet, Sammy, "the best hound dog in the whole world," and how, after he becomes sick and dies, she comes to know the truth of her mother's words, that Sammy's spirit is everywhere.

Yolen, Jane.
A cat whose kitten days are far behind her says goodbye to her human family, and the animals and places that have made her life special, before leaving this life behind.

Lies, Brian, author, illustrator.
A breathtakingly beautiful and luminescent book that is pitchperfect for anyone of any age who has experienced any type of loss or disappointment, from New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Brian Lies.

Lies, Brian, author, illustrator.
Farmer Evan and his dog do everything together and, especially, in the garden but when his dog passes away Evan lets his garden fill with weeds until a pumpkin vine brings new hope.

Lies, Brian
A Caldecott Honor Book An ALA Notable Book A luminescent book that is pitch-perfect for anyone of any age who has experienced any type of loss or disappointment, from New York Times– bestselling picture book creator Brian Lies. New York Times–bestselling author Brian Lies has created a beautiful, accessible, and deeply personal story about friendship, loss, and renewal. The Rough Patch was awarded a Caldecott Honor. Evan and his dog do everything together, from eating ice cream to caring for their prize-winning garden, which grows big and beautiful. One day the unthinkable happens: Evan's dog dies. Heartbroken, Evan destroys the garden and everything in it. The ground becomes overgrown with prickly weeds and thorns, and Evan embraces the chaos. But beauty grows in the darkest of places, and when a twisting vine turns into an immense pumpkin, Evan is drawn out of his isolation and back to the county fair, where friendships—old and new—await. A deeply hopeful and positive book, The Rough Patch was awarded a Caldecott Honor and is a story about love, loss, and hope, and the healing power of friendship and nature. "Weepy and wonderful."—Wall Street Journal
This electronic resource is available through the SCPL catalog.
View on SCPL catalog

Becker, Aaron, 1974- author, illustrator.
A young girl, still reeling from her dog's death, finds solace while picking up stones on the beach during her family's vacation.

González, Xelena, author.
"On Día de los Muertos, a family prepares an ofrenda for their favorite furry family member, remembering all the ways that their beloved pet brought love and comfort to their lives"-- Provided by publisher.

González, Xelena
Three starred reviews! A family remembers their beloved pet dog through the traditions of Día de Muertos in this "gorgeous, deeply touching exploration of grief and remembrance" ( Kirkus Reviews , starred review) from Pura Belpré Honor–winning team Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia. A child and their family observe the customs of Día de los Angelitos, one of the ritual celebrations of Día de Muertos, to celebrate the life of their beloved dog who passed away. They build a thoughtful ofrenda to help lead the pet's soul home and help the little one process their grief in this moving reminder that loved ones are never really gone if we take the time to remember them.
This electronic resource is available through the SCPL catalog.
View on SCPL catalog

Death of a Friend

Durant, Alan, 1958-
A family of forest animals learns to cope with the death of a loved one.

Loth, Sebastian.
Zelda is a young goose that lives in the garden. Her friend Crystal is a turtle who is growing old. The two do many things together. One day Crystal is not in the garden. But friendship never dies.

Penn, Audrey, 1947-
After his mother explains why his classmate is not returning to school, she teaches Chester Raccoon how to make a memory.

Puttock, Simon.
Hippo and Monkey are best, best, best friends and when the wise old Hippo dies, Monkey is very sad until Chameleon helps him remember the stories he and Hippo shared.

Willems, Mo.
Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog's rock to play games with him, but during the winter things change for them both.

Levis, Caron, author.
A polar bear grieves over the loss of his companion, based on the real-life Gus and Ida of New York's Central Park Zoo.

Death of a Grandparent

Castellucci, Cecil, 1969-
When her grandmother, a devoted gardener, dies, a little girl inherits her gardening gloves and feels closer to her memory.

Fang, Suzhen, 1957- author.
"Xiao Le's grandmother lives in a faraway village. A visit with Grandma is always a special event, but this time she is frail. With encouragement from his mom, Xiao Le plays with and helps Grandma. When Grandma dies shortly thereafter, Xiao Le comforts his mom--reminding her that when it rains, Grandma is washing her clothes in the sky ... and that although the Perfume Village in heaven cannot be reached by train, it can be accessed by the heart. Fang Suzhen's moving story, with stunning illustrations by Sonja Danowski, is a powerful reminder that love transcends all."-- Publisher's web site.

Howe, James, 1946-
Five-year-old Emily tries to understand her grandfather's death by exploring the Christian and Jewish rituals that her family practices during and after his funeral.

Joosse, Barbara M.
While celebrating the Days of the Dead, a young Mexican girl remembers her wonderful grandmother who sang songs, made tortillas, chased monsters away, and loved butterflies.

Joslin, Mary, 1953-
Presents the phenomena of grief and loss and the concept that death is not the end.

Russo, Marisabina.
Grandpa Abe enters Sarah's life as her grandmother's boyfriend, becomes her grandfather by marriage, and enriches her life before leaving it.

Sinykin, Sheri Cooper.
When Rachel's beloved grandfather, Zayde, comes to spend his last days with her family, she worries what will happen when he dies, especially after friends tell her the Christian and Muslim beliefs about the afterlife.

Ulmer, Wendy K., 1950-
After a day of riding his stick horse, Splinter, across an imaginary landscape, Billy returns to the rooftop of his apartment to sit beneath the stars and remember Grandpa.

Krishnaswami, Uma, 1956-
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.

Armas, Teresa, author.
A poignant bilingual picture book about the death of a grandparent. Like most Saturdays, Mr. Garcia's rooster wakes Lorena much earlier than she wants to wake up. Lorena pulls the covers over her head to block out the day, but she knows she has to get up. Today is no ordinary Saturday. She and her mother will be going to Grandpa's house. Since Grandma's recent death, everything has changed for Lorena. Her mother often cries, and Grandpa sits motionless in his chair staring out the window. Though Mama says Grandma must be in heaven, Lorena misses Grandma, too. She can't see or touch heaven. Where is Grandma? At Grandpa's house, Lorena tries to help him stop grieving, but not even Grandma's miracle words, "sana, sana, colita de rana..." work. How can Lorena help Grandpa? Lorena notices a beautiful carved chest in the corner of the room. When Lorena opens it, she sees a tangle of colors, fabrics, and keepsakes from when Grandma was alive. Will the treasured memories inside be able to bring her Grandpa back, to bring back the life in his eyes? The charming illustrations bring Lorena's memories of her grandmother to life in this bilingual picture book for readers aged 3-7 that will help children discover that sometimes, heaven isn't as far away as it seems.

DePaola, Tomie, 1934-
A small boy enjoys his relationship with his grandmother and his great-grandmother, but he learns to face their inevitable death.

Death of a Parent

Hole, Stian, author, illustrator.
After the death of her mother, Anna and her father imagine that Heaven might be a place where one can help in God's garden, visit with old friends, and take off one's socks whenever one pleases.

Lunde, Stein Erik, 1953-
Unable to sleep, a young boy climbs into his father's arms and asks about birds, foxes, and whether his mother will ever awaken, then under a starry sky, the father provides clear answers and assurances.

Moundlic, Charlotte.
When his mother dies, a little boy is angry at his loss but does everything he can to hold onto the memory of her scent, her voice, and the special things she did for him, even as he tries to help his father and grandmother cope.

Napoli, Donna Jo, 1948-
Grieving over her father's death from cancer, a young girl celebrates their last year together by making a book that includes mementos and a story.

Mahdavi, Azam, author.
"After a young girl's mother dies, Empty appears and silently takes up the big blank space left behind. For some time, the girl can't connect with her dad or any friends, and Empty is her closest companion. But then, a happy reminder of her mom pops up one day, and this bit of joy helps the little girl open up to the world around her. Empty stays around, but the little girl starts to connect with others and share new moments of happiness with them. Originally published in Iran, this bilingual Persian-English picture book provides a gentle starting point for discussing death and grief with young readers. Its spare, poignant text and artwork gives children a concrete point of reference for the complex emotions people experience after the loss of a loved one. Readers of any age, however, will find comfort in the encouraging message of this beautiful book" -- Amazon.

Death of a Relative

Quinlan, Patricia.
When his uncle, Michael, dies of AIDS, Joel's dreams and thoughts of Michael keep his memory alive.

Mathers, Petra, author, illustrator.
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).

Failing Health or Terminal Illness

Raschka, Christopher.
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.

Shriver, Maria.
Kate has always adored her grandpa's storytelling - but lately he's been repeating the same stories again and again. One day he even forgets Kate's name. Her mother's patient explanations open Kate's eyes to what so many of the elderly must confront: Alzheimer's disease and other forms of memory loss.

Van Laan, Nancy.
Young Julia comes to terms with the changes in her beloved grandmother, whose Alzheimer's Disease makes it hard for her to remember people and things.

Tejima, Keizaburō.
Despite the devoted attentions of her family, a young swan is unable to accompany them on the journey to their summer home.