Children’s books about death and grief—and other major events in their lives
Whether it’s the death of a loved one, introducing a new sibling, moving to a new house or starting school, a picture book can often help ease your preschooler through the transition.
Illness, death and grief
Tree: A gentle story of love and loss
Lynn Jenkins & Kirrili Lonergan
A$19.99 | NZ$19.99
A metaphorical book using the death of a tree to help children deal with the concepts of impending death and ways to memorialise and celebrate the life of a loved one. Simple, touching and insightful.
A$24.99 | NZ$29.99
Probably something more suitable for introducing the concepts of funerals of someone not particularly dear to a child. Provides a perspective of how someone’s death can be a sad, yet happy affair.
Michelle Vasiliu & Gwynneth Jones
A$24.99 | NZ$24.99
It’s never easy when someone you love falls sick, especially if that person is your dad. This is a very gentle way to help a child understand illness (mental or physical) and the different ways in which they can still bond with their loved ones.
I Miss Grandpa
A very gentle and moving way that talks a child through the special bond, the deep pain and the ways in which a grandchild can continue to hold on to the memory of a grandparent. Told from a Christian perspective.
Goodbye House, Hello House
Margaret Wild & Ann James
Allen & Unwin
A$24.99 | NZ$27.99
Moving to a new place can often be filled with much sorrow and trepidation. Prep your preschooler for the big day with this simple picture book that acknowledges the sadness of having to say goodbye, but also fills them with the promise of fun and exciting adventures to come.
Introducing a new sibling
I’m Ready for the New Baby
A$12.99 | NZ$15.99
Help build the anticipation of a new sibling with this gorgeously illustrated hardcover book, and all the nice, caring things an older sister can do. The story is told from the perspective of a little girl waiting for the arrival of a baby brother.
Starting first day of school
I’m Ready for Preschool
A$12.99 | NZ$15.99
Bright and fun, this is all about the fun a child can have when they start preschool. It talks about the hesitation and worry a child may have, but focuses on all the positive things they can experience at preschool.
Maddie’s First Day
Penny Matthews & Liz Anelli
A$26.99 | NZ$28.99
Read this book not only because your little one is about to experience their first day of big school, but also for how amazingly inclusive the illustrations are: Multicultural, a mum who works and a dad who stays home to look after the baby, children in wheelchairs . . . this is a world every child is a part of.
Little Nic’s Big Day
Nic Naitanui & Fatima Anayanny
Albert Street Books
A$19.99 | NZ$22.99
Another book that needs to be applauded for its inclusivity. The illustrations are bright, colourful and eye-catching, as is the text, which is written in rhyme. This book is all about the new things, friends and experiences one will find when they finally start big school.
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