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Children: Bereavement

Books for parents and other adults to give to children to help them come to terms with bereavement in all its forms. Teachers will find extra material in Children's Work Theory and Practice.

Are You Sad, Little Bear?

- A Book About Learning To Say Goodbye

by Rachel Rivett, illustrated by Tina Macnaughton


This is not a new book first having been published in 2009, but it is a lovely, gentle and sensitive book that deals with death in a beautiful and poignant way using the changing of the seasons, the habits of animals and nature, and the sun and the moon to explain how sometimes goodbye is sad but not really forever.
Beautifully drawn and with gentle flowing words it is a lovely book that might just help offer some comfort to a young child for whom the loss of a loved one has just become a sad reality. It is also a book that works for church and unchurched audiences too.

Review by Melanie Carroll  (11/06/13)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: March 2013
ISBN: 978-0-745-96430-0
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Talking About Death and Bereavement in School

- How to Help Children Aged 4 to 11 to feel Supported and Understood

by Ann Chadwick


This slim volume is a really worthwhile read for anyone, teacher, governor or minister who has to deal with the death of a parent or pupil in school. Though only 74 pages long it is filled with insights and examples that are very much to the point in helping to deal with young children facing the trauma and loss of someone near to them either at home or at school, even if that is only a beloved family pet.
There is a wonderful incident described on page 17 which although it makes one want to chuckle also gives pause for thought on how children ‘hear’ words which an adult may take for granted.
Again, as a Minister myself and speaking often to congregations on the subject of the use of our Lords name as an expletive and the lack of knowledge about who he actually was and is in today’s secular world, there is a very telling paragraph on the subject which struck me forcefully. That a child who has only knows the words God or Jesus Christ or even the word Heaven by an exasperated, abusive or angry adult and then is told that ’Granny, Grandpa, Mum etc’ has gone to ’Heaven, been taken by Jesus, gone to God’ etc, is going to be in a very confused state of anxiety and stress.
So all in all this book as I stated before is a very, very worthwhile one to read for anyone who has dealings with junior school children.

Review by Christine Mundell  (09/01/12)
Jacket
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers from Gardners Books
Published: Autumn 2011
ISBN: 978-1-849-05246-7
Paperback
Price: £11.99

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine

- Your Activity Book to help When Someone Has Died

by Diana Crossley illustrated by Kate Sheppard


This is published on behalf of Winston’s Wish, a charity giving ‘support, guidance and information for anyone caring for a bereaved child or a child facing the imminent death of a family member.’
I spotted this in a local Christian bookshop; my eye was attracted by the title and I was assured that although not specifically Christian, it was known to help all children, Christian or not. Of course I wanted to take a proper look and I was not disappointed.
Wisely it is suggested that an adult help the youngster to complete this book over a period of time. There is a message addressed to the child on the first page and another to the adult on the last, helping both to get the most out of the activities.
There are pages to fill in with facts and with thoughts, things to make and to do, all aimed to help with grief, by keeping ‘a balance between remembering and having fun,’ and yes, there can still be fun even though there is sadness. The complete book can then be a keepsake for the future.
I know this book has helped many, I hope that it will help many more. Highly recommended.

Also available in hardback 978-1-903-45896-9, £9.99

Related website:www.winstonswish.org.uk

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (27/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Hawthorn Press from Gardners Books
Published: 2000
ISBN: 978-1-869-89058-2
Landscape A4 Paperback
Price: £7.99

Tapestry

- Grandma Sews a Picture of Hope

by Bob Hartman, illustrated by Susie Poole, tapestry by Lesley Watmore


A gentle sympathetic story of a little boy and his grandmother grieving together over the death of Danny’s Grandad. As Gran sorted though Grandad’s clothes, each piece brought back memories of happy times Danny and Grandad had together.
Gran goes away for a few days, and on her return Danny visits again to find Gran has made a happy picture of their house, showing all the family and neighbours incorporating pieces of Grandad’s clothing - a tapestry.
Gran uses the tapestry to help Danny understand that one day the family will all be together again, in God’s new world.
A lovely book, beautifully illustrated with the help of the tapestry.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (15/09/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Authentic Media
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-1-904-63758-5
Paperback
Price: £6.99

Jesus Still Loves Joe: About a child Whose Sister Has Died

- Held in Hope series

by Victoria Beech and the Paediatric Chaplaincy Network, illustrated by Rhiannon Mollart


Each story of the series is also available as a free online film with the story read by Bear Grylls.
The price of book includes postage if bought from the publisher. This is a very special series fulfilling the particular needs of very special children.
In this story Joe is grieving for his sister Lucy. Sometimes he enjoys remembering the happy times they had together, sometimes he is just sad, and sometimes he is SO angry that she is not still here with him, but at all times he is comforted by the promise that however he feels, Jesus Still Loves Joe.
The illustrations are simple and fit with the words beautifully. Either read from the book, or listened to and watched as the film, this story is sure to help and the simplicity may even speak to the adult reading it to, or watching it with, the child.

Website:www. Paediatric-Chaplaincy-Network.org

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (06/05/11)
Jacket
Publisher: Christian Education
Published: Spring 2011
ISBN: 978-1-905-89350-8
Stapled Paperback
Price: £5.99

Surviving the Loss of a Child

- Support for Grieving Parents

by Elizabeth B. Brown


This book sensitively covers the major questions and emotions that uniquely belong to the bereavement process when a child dies as well as those that are common to every loss of a loved one. Of particular note is the chapter on Feuding Partners which is often overlooked in Christian circles, covering the different ways a husband and wife may react to the loss of a child and acknowledges the published statistics that 90% of couples experience serious marital problems after such an event. The whole book is full of helpful insights and pastoral gems drawing on Brown’s own experiences and research into the grief of others. I thoroughly recommend it.

Review by Paddy Beresford  (30/08/10)
Jacket
Publisher: Revell imprint of Baker Pub from Lion
Published: April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-800-73356-8
Paperback
Price: £7.99

The Lonely Tree



by Nicholas Halliday


To help children aged Age 4 and over, Nicholas Halliday has written and drawn this appealing book. Stephen Fry is quoted on the cover as saying ‘Utterly, completely and splendidly charming. Originally illustrated and delightfully told.’ which doesn’t leave many relevant words for the rest of us!
A little fir tree starts to grow in the New Forest among the oak trees and soon is befriended by the ancient oak nearby. When winter comes and the oaks go to sleep, the little fir tree is all alone and sad. When spring comes the oaks wake up and burst into leaf except the ancient oak nearby. The other oaks explain that he has died but tell the little fir tree to remember his old friends stories, and his strength, his wisdom, and most of all his love. The book ends with one more surprise to cheer little ones hearing the story.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (12/08/09)
Jacket
Publisher: Halliday Books from Gardners Books
Published: 11 May 2009
ISBN: 978-0-953-94598-6
Landscape A4 Paperback
Price: £9.99

Are You Sad, Little Bear?

- A Book About learning to Say Goodbye

by Rachel Rivett, illustrated by Tina Macnaughton


A gentle story of learning about loss. Little Bear has said goodbye to his Grandmother for the last time, and his wise Mother sends him off into the Wildwood to see what lessons he can learn there to soften his grief. It is autumn and as he wanders through the woods, he talks to the swallows flying off to warmer climes, to the trees losing their leaves, to the sun who appears to die when it sets and the moon constantly changing, and he learns from them all that although things don’t always stay the same, there is always a bright side to seemingly sad things, a bigger picture for us to see if we take time to recognize the ‘Great Heart that holds everything for always’.
Young children of 3 – 7 years will find comfort and hope in this story.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (14/04/09)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: 20 March 2009
ISBN: 978-0-745-96137-8
Padded Hardback
Price: £6.99

The Colours of Grief



by Janis A. di Ciacco


This text would be of considerable use and interest to any teacher or other adult who finds themselves in the counselling role in a school. The Colours of Grief explores strategies for supporting grieving children; it draws on the latest research in neurology and psychology and details the child’s grieving process in terms of their developmental stages. As well as explaining the connections between bereavement, attachment issues and social dysfunction, the author also suggests easy-to-use activities for intervention at each stage. It is both an academic investigation into the processes a child goes through to achieve maturity through the grieving process and a source of precise and detailed steps to help the carer pilot their way through the steps it takes. Both theoretical and practical, this is a very useful book.

Review by Sue Cooper  (05/11/08)
Jacket
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers from Gardners Books
Published: 15 June 2008
ISBN: 978-1-843-10886-3
Paperback
Price: £12.99

Overcoming Loss



by Julia Sorenson


Julia Sorensen’s book, Overcomimg Loss, is a “hands-on” work, being a photocopiable resource full of activities that use the power of play and creative arts to give the grieving child the language to identify subtle feelings such as shame, despair and jealousy. The ideas contained in this text are rooted in deep and extensive psychological research. The activities here, encourage social and emotional learning through play, art and story-telling, and provide a set of resources for use in either a school or other carer situations whilst giving total reassurance that, if you are following Sorensen’s advice, you can only be doing good.

Review by Sue Cooper  (05/11/08)
Jacket
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers from Gardners Books
Published: 15 June 2008
ISBN: 978-1-843-10646-3
A4 Paperback
Price: £19.99

We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had An Angel Instead



by Pat Schwiebert


Dealing with the death of an expected and much-wanted baby as told through the words of the little boy who would have been the ‘big brother’, this book with its’ simple one-line per page story and appealing illustrations is a knockout. The difficult subject is handled with sensitivity and with no attempt to pretend that there is an easy happy ending. The notes at the end of the book on helping children to grieve and cope with such a loss would be of great use to those, who grieving themselves, have to try to find answers to the child/children’s ‘why?’

Review by Pam Sanders  (02/01/07)
Jacket
Publisher: Griefwatch from Ingram Books
Published: 2003
ISBN: 0-972-42411-3
Paperback
Price: £5.95

The Day Scooter Died

- A Book About the Death of a Pet

by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illustrated by Cheri Bladholm


Scooter had belonged to Mum and Dad, but when Mikey was born Scooter changed his allegiance and attached himself like a limpet to Mikey. As Mikey grew up they played together and one day while playing ball in the garden (yard) the ball went too far and Scooter chased after it, out of the garden, into the path of an oncoming car. He died very shortly after and all Mikey was left with was Scooter’s beloved blanket, which he treasures along with Scooter’s collar, rubber bone and name tag and a ball that Scooter had so loved to chase. His Mother explained that all creation was in God’s care and that although we do not know if there are animals in heaven, we can trust God to know what is best for the animals he loves.
Don’t forget to look at the guidance and advice to adults on the back pages.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/06/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Zonderkidz from Zondervan
Published: 2005
ISBN: 0-310-70902-4
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Sarah’s Grandma Goes to Heaven

- A Book About Grief

by Maribeth Boelts, illustrated by Cheri Bladholm


This book is written with love and understanding of the feelings of a child and parents when a Grandparent dies and shows how the remaining grandparent is suffering from the loss, and how all of them can help each other with the healing process. Hopefully reading this book to, or with, a child will deepen the adults and the child’s understanding of death and the Christian message of hope and joy to come. A sensitive telling of how Sarah learns to come to terms with Grandma’s illness and death, and a delightful story to read and share. There is very special help for the adults at the back of the book.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (26/06/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Zonderkidz from Zondervan
Published: 2004
ISBN: 0-310-70656-4
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Where Did Grandad Go?



by Catherine House and Honor Ayres


This is an excellent help to families needing to explain to little ones about the death of a grandfather. Beautifully illustrated and sympathetically told in story fashion. Megan and her Granny pick some flowers and then walk to the graveyard talking about the things they see around them. Megan remembers where Grandad’s grave is and arranges the flowers in the vase. She asks Granny if God lives with Grandad in the graveyard and Granny explains that God is everywhere, but Grandad has gone to live in God’s house. Granny goes on to explain that one day she will die too, and that although Megan will miss her, she will have many happy memories of both her grandparents.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (29/05/06)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: Spring 2006
ISBN: 1-841-01502-4
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Rosie

- Coming to Terms with the Death of a Sibling

by Stephanie Jeffs and Jacqui Thomas


Jenny’s sister Rosie had been ill for some time and Jenny hoped she would be better soon. She remembered all the happy times when they played together, but now Rosie spent nearly all the time in bed, and couldn’t go on outings with her sister. Their Mum had to explain to her that Rosie was not going to get better. Jenny was very sad, but crept up to her sister’s room, and said a prayer to Jesus asking him to take care of Rosie. Nothing frightening or dramatic in this story, just gentle loving, to help a young child understand. Engaging illustrations help the story along.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/01/05)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: 21 January 2005
ISBN: 1-841-01422-2
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Josh

- Coming to terms with the death of a Friend

by Stephanie Jeffs and Jacqui Thomas


Josh gets to know a neighbour called Max. Max is a painter and decorator and last year Josh’s Mum had asked Max to come and decorate Josh’s bedroom, so they had become special friends. One day Josh and his sister walk past Max’s house and he isn’t there. They find out that he has been killed in a road accident and Josh does not know how to handle this news. Mum helps him to understand about death and saying goodbye. This gentle story with its attractive illustrations will help a young child to cope with this difficult experience.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/01/05)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: 21 January 2005
ISBN: 1-841-01423-0
Paperback
Price: £5.99

When Goodbye is for Ever



by Lois Rock, Illustrated by Sheila Moxley


To help children from 4 – 8 cope with saying goodbye to someone they love who has died, friend or relative. Very simply written and sympathetically illustrated.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (07/02/04)
Jacket
Publisher: Lion
Published: 23 January 2004
ISBN: 0-745-94879-0
Paperback
Price: £4.99

Grandma’s Party

- Practical ways to help children be part of the grieving process when a loved one dies.

by Meg Harper


Ideal for children aged 6-10 with the support of caring adults. ‘The idea for this book came from Meg’s desire to help adults take a more positive approach in allowing children to be part of the grieving process after the death of a close friend or relative’ With a note to parents and teachers and another to children reading this book, she straight away shows that grieving is for all ages, not just ‘grownups’. Fittingly the illustrations are in black and white and the emphasis is on happy memories, in this case of Grandma, but the idea could be adapted for different situations. Includes photocopying permission.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (28/11/03)
Jacket
Publisher: Barnabas imprint of BRF
Published: 21 November 2003
ISBN: 1-841-01341-2
Paperback
Price: £6.99

Waterbugs and Dragonflies – Explaining Death to Young Children



by Doris Stickney


A well loved little book that has proved its worth to many, many children and their parents. Now reissued 2003 with a new ISBN. Very simply told, even little children can grasp the basic truth that the story is putting across. The hardback is beautifully illustrated in colour. Also available paperback.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (10/07/02)
Jacket
Publisher: Continuum - A Bloomsbury Company
ISBN: 0-826-46458-0
Paperback
Price: £5.99

Mudge, Gill and Steve



by Jim Dainty


One of the best books written for children on bereavement. Gill, Steve, and their dog Mudge come face to face with death when their neighbour’s baby, Joe, dies. The book deals with death in a sensitive way and deals with questions like, Why does God allow children to die? What is a funeral? What happens after death? Will our sad feelings go away? At the end of the book, a letter written to adults, by bereaved children tries to make us understand how they feel, and that by talking things through with their parents they were helped to find the missing pieces of the jigsaw of life. The book ends with six Bible passages dealing with death.

Review by David Chant  (30/05/02)
Jacket
Publisher: National Society / Church House Publishing
ISBN: 0-715-14887-7
Paperback
Price: £4.95

What Happens When We Die

- Bible Early Learning Series

by Carolyn Nystrom illustrated by Eira Reeves


Space does not allow me to put each of this series onto the site separately, but the other titles deserve your equal attention, they are Who is God, Who is Jesus, and What is a Christian. Difficult subjects to get across to a little person, but ones that must be answered with care and truthfulness. Carolyn Nystrom has impressed me with her ability to get the message across clearly with few words and with Bible references for an adult to take the subject further when the time is right.

Review by Mary Bartholomew  (14/12/03)
Jacket
Publisher: Candle Books imprint of Lion Hudson
Published: Autumn 2003
ISBN: 1-859-85499-0
Paperback
Price: £1.50