Grief is a complicated emotion. Many children will lose a loved one and have to struggle with the emotion, one that is already so difficult for adults, for the first time. These tree children’s book discuss death and the emotions surrounding it in a way all ages can appreciate.

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 I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julia Kuo

After a young girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to the US, she thinks about how much she misses her Popo back in Taiwan. They are able to visit one another, and the child holds on to the memories of the special moments she shared with her Popo. One day, she is no longer able to visit her Popo, but the memories they shared together bring the child comfort.

 When Grandfather Flew by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Chris Sheban

Milo’s grandfather loves birdwatching, and it’s something Milo shares with him. But his grandfather starts to lose his vision. Milo helps him by pointing out the birds that he sees. One day, Milo comes home and grandfather is no longer there. Milo finds solace in the form of an eagle, believing that his grandfather is still with him, having moved on to the skies, and knowing that he can still connect with his grandfather through birdwatching.


Death Is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbotham

A little boy is frustrated by the platitudes adults offer him in the aftermath of his grandmother’s death. He works through many emotions associated with grief, from confusion to anger to fear. He begins to feel better by sharing memories of his grandmother and connecting with her by working in her garden. This book contains helpful backmatter including pages to honor deceases pets and people in a child’s life.


I first experienced grief as a child. While I found solace in books, it was through escape. I never saw the emotions I experienced after the death of a beloved grandmother told in a picture book format. I remember feeling frightened, confused, anxious, sad, and angry. I was lucky to have supportive family, but of course adults are also experiencing the grief of losing someone and cannot offer perfect comfort to their child. Books like these help bridge the gap and make sense of something that at times can feel utterly senseless.