Death Becomes Children’s Lit: More 2016 Books on Loss
Waaay back in January, The Trend Whisperer spotted an uptick in children’s books about death and bereavement. Boy was she right. She mentioned these books in her piece:
The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Christian Robinson (this is a re-illustrated version of a story originally illustrated by Remy Charlip and published in 1965)
Always Remember by Cece Meng, illustrated by Jago
Ida, Always by Caron Levis, illustrated by Charles Santoso
As 2016 has continued, more books on the topic keep popping up, so I thought I’d list them here.
Some are straightforward (Death is Stupid), others are more poetic (Where Do They Go?). Some deal with death as a state of being (Benny and Penny), others present death as a character in the story (Cry, Heart, But Never Break, Life and I).
Death is something grownups have a hard time talking about with kids. Having some of these books in your collection will help.
Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charlotte Pardi
Death is Stupid by Anastasia Higginbotham
Where Do They Go? by Julia Alvarez, illustrated by Sabra Field
My Best Friend by Gilles Tibo, illustrated by Janice Nadeau
Benny and Penny in How to Say Goodbye by Geoffrey Hayes
Life and I: A Story About Death by Elisabeth Helland Larsen, illustrated by Marine Schneider
Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies
Do you have any 2016 picture books to add to this list?
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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