BookYou Asked For It: Books About Death

Browse the list below for a selection of picture books that deal with death. Click the book cover or title to go to the book in the online catalog. Click the author's name to search for more books by that author.

Where is Grandpa? Where is Grandpa?
Barron, T. A.
As his family reminisces after his beloved grandfather's death, a boy realizes that his grandfather is still with him in all the special places they shared.

And what comes after a thousand? And what comes after a thousand?
Bley, Anette.
A little girl comes to understand that memories live beyond death.

I remember Miss Perry I remember Miss Perry
Brisson, Pat.
When his teacher, Miss Perry, is killed in a car accident, Stevie and his elementary school classmates take turns sharing memories of her, especially her fondest wish for each day.

Rudi's pond Rudi's pond
Bunting, Eve, 1928-
When a sick boy dies, his friends and classmates remember him by building a schoolyard pond in his memory.

Good-bye, Sheepie Good-bye, Sheepie
Burleigh, Robert.
A father teaches his young son about death and remembrance as he buries their beloved dog.

Grandma's purple flowers Grandma's purple flowers
Burrowes, Adjoa J., 1957-
The narrator's favorite Grandma lives through the park and down the hill. On the way to visit her, the little girl picks purple flowers -- Grandma's favorite. One day, when the girl knocks on Grandma's door, Grandma moves slowly and is too tired to play. That night, she passes away.

The fall of Freddie the leaf : a story of life for all ages The fall of Freddie the leaf : a story of life for all ages
Buscaglia, Leo F.
As Freddie experiences the changing seasons along with his companion leaves, he learns about the delicate balance between life and death.

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

The forever dog The forever dog
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.

Jim's dog, Muffins Jim's dog, Muffins
Cohen, Miriam, 1926-
When Jim's dog is killed, the other first graders experience with him his natural reactions to death.

The grandad tree The grandad tree
Cooke, Trish.
The changing nature of their apple tree, as it grows and goes through the seasons, reminds Leigh and Vin of their grandfather, who is gone but lives on in their memories.

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

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs
De Paola, Tomie.
A small boy enjoys his relationship with his grandmother and his great-grandmother, but he learns to face their inevitable death.

A dog like Jack A dog like Jack
DiSalvo, DyAnne.
After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.

If Nathan were here If Nathan were here
Bahr, Mary 1946-
A young boy grieves the loss of his best friend and thinks about how things would be if he were still alive.

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

The bug cemetery The bug cemetery
Hill, Frances, 1955-
Neighborhood children imaginatively stage funerals for dead bugs, but they experience real sadness following the death of a pet.

The heart and the bottle The heart and the bottle
Jeffers, Oliver.
After safeguarding her heart in a bottle hung around her neck, a girl finds the bottle growing heavier and her interest in things around her becoming smaller.

Remembering Crystal Remembering Crystal
Loth, Sebastian.
Zelda is a young duck 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.

The best cat in the world The best cat in the world
Newman, Lesléa.
A young boy deals with the loss of his beloved cat, Charlie, eventually accepting the arrival of another, very different cat.

Jasper's day Jasper's day
Parker, Marjorie Blain.
The tender story, illustrated in gentle pastels, of a boy who has to say good-bye to a favorite pet.

Big Cat Pepper Big Cat Pepper
Partridge, Elizabeth.
Big Cat Pepper has always been part of the family, but after he grows very old and dies, the boy who loves him comes to understand his mother's reassurance that "his spirit is forever and can fly, fly, fly."

The purple balloon The purple balloon
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.

Cat Heaven Cat Heaven
Rylant, Cynthia.
God created Cat Heaven, with fields of sweet grass where cats can play, kitty-toys for them to enjoy, and angels to rub their noses and ears.

Dog Heaven Dog Heaven
Rylant, Cynthia.
God created Dog Heaven, a place where dogs can eat ice cream biscuits, sleep on fluffy clouds, and run through unending fields.

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

Harry & Hopper Harry & Hopper
Wild, Margaret, 1948-
One day when Harry comes home from school, his faithful companion Hopper isn't there to greet him, in a touching story about the process of healing after losing a beloved pet.

Old Pig Old Pig
Wild, Margaret, 1948-
Because Old Pig knows that her time to die is near, she puts her affairs in order and takes a slow walk with Granddaughter to savor the beauty for one last time.

I'll always love you I'll always love you
Wilhelm, Hans, 1945-
A child's sadness at the death of a beloved dog is tempered by the remembrance of saying to it every nignt, "I'll always love you."

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Last modified on Friday, July 27, 2012
Kids page artwork courtesy of and copyright Todd Parr.