Grief is a feeling that affects everyone. We all have to cope with a loss at some point or another…

We feel sad when one of our favorite artists from childhood dies or perhaps some movie star who we loved… But things get even worse when it comes to a loved one and especially a parent.

No one wants to go through this, but the sad reality is that we all have to. Grief and the loss of a beloved one can be extremely painful because of the deep emotional connection and bond that people have with that person.

Grownups can cope with loss someway more effectively. We get ready for something like this, especially when there are different warnings, such as an illness. But for kids, it can be devastating.

If your little one has lost a loved one in the past, here are a few children's books about grief that can explain the loss in a more sensitive manner.

What Are Some Outstanding Gentle Children's Books Coping with Loss?

My Father’s Smile, by Eva Fogel (2023)

Eva Fogel’s book is suitable for kids aged six to nine. And if you have to read this book to them, you’ll most likely share a tear too, especially if you lost a loved one in the past.

The book follows Jonathan's story. He's only five years old, and he's barely waiting for his next birthday. However, nothing goes as planned, and young Jonathan ends up on a spiritual trip to find a way to cope with the loss.

It’s the kind of story that makes you understand that even if you lose someone, they’ll live on through your memories.

The book is suitable for children and parents, but it’s just as good for therapists. Most importantly, it helps children understand a loss and figure out their feelings. It boosts self confidence and helps them move forward, regardless of the trauma they’ve been through.

The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst (2018)

This book is suitable for children who fear loss or separation. It’s not that obvious though… I went through it with my little one, and it took me a while to understand what it was about.

Anyway, it’s about two twins, Liza and Jeremy. None of them believes their mother when she tells them they're connected through an invisible string of love, and this is how it all begins.

The story redefines love and will trigger emotions in both children and adults. The approach is simple and straightforward, but kids will see it in a more sophisticated manner.

This type of book tells people that no one’s really alone. It also reminds each of us that we are loved. There's always a string of love out there, and everyone's connected.

We can’t always see it, but it’s there and can connect hearts.

Badger’s Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley (1992)

This is a story about being dependable and reliable, and this is exactly what the badger does for the community. Everyone knows they can count on him, but sooner or later, he realizes that his time is nearly gone.

Badger is old and about to die, so he tries his best to prepare everyone for it. It’s one of those children's books about grief, but it can also be described as a losing a parent book. After all, Badger was like a parent to all the other animals.

He passes away eventually, and everyone is hit by strike. But then, they slowly remember all the special things he has done for them.

They start sharing good memories and events, and sooner or later, they realize Badger doesn't necessarily have to be there physically. Instead, he lives through their memories, as well as his friends.

This story will help kids understand loss and realize there’s nothing they can do about it. However, they can maintain memories alive and keep their loved ones in their hearts forever.

When Dinosaurs Die, by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (2023)

This book is a classic. It’s always been a good way to educate children about death and loss, so it makes one of the best children’s books about grief.

As you go through it with your little one, you’ll find it pretty straightforward, but it’s supposed to be like that. Its aim is to offer aid to kids and families as they go through more challenging times.

No one seems to understand death. However, as adults, we get used to it. For children, it can be a shocking experience, whether they lose a pet or a family member.

The book helps kids disassociate death from negative thoughts. Instead, it makes it look more natural, and it offers answers to all the questions they may have. There are a bunch of different topics in it, and each of them is explained in a crystal clear manner.

Grandad’s Island, by Benji Davies (2016)

A story about death given with a more positive approach that’s what you can expect from Benji Davies’ book.

Grandad’s house is somewhere behind the garden and a big tree. Syd can always go in and say hi to his grandfather, but things change one day…

Syd gets in to say hello, but he can’t find his grandfather. He finds him in the attic. Grandad grabs Syd, and the two go together on a unique journey.

They end up on a wild and beautiful island, and surprisingly for Syd, Grandad decides to remain there. They hug, and the young kid goes back home.

Nothing changes as he keeps visiting the house. Everything is still there, apart from his grandfather.

This masterpiece is about losing a parent, but it also applies to kids who lose pets, grandparents, or even friends. It can help them cope with loss and understand that our loved ones keep living in our memories forever.

Final Thoughts

These children's books about grief explain the loss in a friendly and straightforward manner.

I'm a spiritual person who believes that death isn't the end and there is a place where we meet again. But being separated still hurts feeling and could make the everydays empty especially for a child.

These books aim to educate kids at a young age and help them understand that death is natural, rather than something negative.

Obviously, a loss can and will affect everyone, including grownups. Grief is perfectly natural, and while we do understand what's going on, children might need a friendlier approach to cope with the emptiness.

Check also a selection of books on grief for adult readers.