Books for children under the age of 5
By Robie H. Harris & illustrated by Jan Ormerod, Aladdin Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Nov 2004) ISBN 978-0689871344
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of a little boy who’s told that his pet mouse has died. At first he doesn’t believe it, thinking it is just asleep, but by asking lots of questions and with the help of his family he begins to accept Mousie’s death. This is a great story and would be very helpful to introduce death to young children and a starting point to discuss what happens after someone dies and the different feelings one may have.
I Miss You: A First Look at Death
By Pat Thomas & illustrated by Lesley Harker, 2001 Barron’s Educational Series, ISBN: 978-0764117640
This bright and colourful picture book very simply talks about life and death. It briefly covers a range of issues such as why people die, how you may feel when someone dies and what happens afterwards. It includes questions for the reader to answer about their own experiences and a section at the back for adults on how to best use the book. An excellent educational book, which could be used as a starting point for discussion.
When Uncle Bob Died (Talking it Through)
By Althea & illustrated by Lisa Kopper, 2001 Happy Cat Books Ltd, ISBN: 978-1903285084
A young boy talks about death and about Uncle Bob who died from an illness. It clearly explains some basic facts such as what ‘dead’ means and what a funeral is. It also talks about feelings and memories. This small picture book would be a good starting point for very young children with lots of opportunity for further discussion.
Dear Grandma Bunny
Written and Illustrated by Dick Bruna, 1996 ISBN: 978-1405219013
Suitable for very young children this book tells the story of what happened and how Miffy felt and coped when Grandma died.
Written by Nicholas Allan, 2006, Red Fox ISBN: 978-0099488149
Dill, the dog, knows his time is up, so he packs his case and tells Lily, his owner, that he's off "up there". "Can I come too?" asks Lily. "Er...not yet," replies Dill. While he is waiting for the angels to collect him, Dill explains to Lily what he thinks heaven is like: hundreds of lampposts to pee against, lots of whiffy things to smell and bones everywhere - with meat on them! But, Lily completely disagrees; she thinks heaven is quite different. Luckily, they agree to disagree just in time for a fond, and very poignant, last goodbye.
The Red Woollen Blanket
Written By Bob Graham, Candlewick Press 1996 ISBN: 978-1564028488
Even before Julia was born she was given a red woollen blanket that she used "right from the start." PW said, "Graham's colourful paintings show a humorous, tender regard for a preschooler's inexplicable attachment to a particular object." Ages 2 to 4.