Helpful Books for Parents/Carers


Coping with Grief

Author: Mal and Di McKissock
Available from: https://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au

The Worst Loss

Author: Barbara Rosof
Available from: https://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/worst-loss

The Empty Room: Understanding Sibling Loss

Author: Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn
Available from: https://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/empty-room-understanding-sibling-loss

Helpful Books for Children

It can often be difficult for children to process some of the common feelings and emotions that are associated with grief and loss. The following stories and workbooks are therapeutic resources that have been written to help children learn and understand more about death and dying.

We strongly recommend that children are accompanied by an adult (parents/carers or health professionals) when reading these books. The stories may instigate questions requiring a discussion with an adult to guide the child’s understanding of the books key messages.

Topic: Anxiety and Feelings


The Invisible String

Author: Patrice Karst
Available from: https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-invisible-string-patrice-karst/book/9780875167343.html
This is a story to help children understand and believe that they can always be connected to people they love and care about even if we aren’t standing next to each other. It is helpful with separation anxiety and other day to day activities that separate us- like school, work, hospital, and death.

Worries are Like Clouds

Author: Shona Innes
Available from: https://www.booktopia.com.au/worries-are-like-clouds-shona-innes/book/9781760400712.html
This book offers a gentle and direct approach to common emotions that children may experience. The story compares worries to the variance of weather- some days are wonderful, filled with golden sunlight  that make us want to run and jump and play outside. But some days are not so wonderful and can be a bit tough. The book helps to teach children that by moving worries away can make even the toughest day feel a little better.

Life is Like the Wind

Author: Shona Innes
Available from: https://www.booktopia.com.au/life-is-like-the-wind-shona-innes/book/9781760060558.html
This book has been written by a clinical child psychologist and offers a gentle and direct approach to encourage youngsters to share and discuss difficult emotions and feelings with family and friends.


Topic: End of Life Books

The Memory Garden Series

The Memory Garden Series are children's story books that aim to help emotionally prepare children of different ages through their experience of grief and loss. The books can be used in counselling around anticipatory grief and bereavement to prevent and reduce the risk of complicated grief reactions.

The Memory Garden Series can be purchased online by selecting the following link:

Hazel's Story
Hazel's Story: Hazel's big sister Iris is terminally ill. This is a story about Hazel and how she copes with Iris' illness. Hazel experiences many of the common feelings siblings go through when they have a brother or sister who is sick. Along with Hazel we learn how to manage feelings of grief and sadness and how we can keep our happy memories close to us.
Iris' Story: Iris is a 9 year old girl who enjoys playing soccer and spending time with her family. Iris is also terminally ill. In this book we learn about how Iris copes with being sick and how she deals with feelings of sadness and loss. We also learn how Iris' family will keep the memory of her with them forever.
Leo's Story: Leo is a 12 year old boy whose little sister Iris is sick. When Leo begins to realise that Iris is not going to get better, he experiences a range of different emotions. In this book we learn that it can be better to express our emotions, even the difficult ones like anger, sadness and grief.

The Next Place

Author: Warren Hanson
Available from: https://www.amazon.com/Next-Place-Warren-Hanson/dp/0931674328/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487735842
This story talks about entering the Next Place after you have died. In the Next Place, you don’t need any of your possessions because you take these with the memories you have made, the laughter you have had and the love given to you by the people you know.

Badger's Parting Gifts

Author: Susan Varley
Available from: https://www.booktopia.com.au/badger-s-parting-gifts-susan-varley/book/9780688115180.html
This book talks about how Badger's friends are sad when he dies but together, they all remember and treasure the memories he has left them. "The gentle message holds particular validity for children using a warm and tender approach.

Beginnings and Endings with Lifetimes in Between

Author: Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen
This book tells the story of life, from the time we are born, in between and how life ends when we die. The story used uses colourful child friendly illustrations of people, animals and nature to help deliver key messages and engage children.

What's Dead Mean?

Author: Doris Zagdanski
Available from: https://www.allaboutgrief.com/
This book is written in question-answer style. It provides truthful answers about what death means. Parents are strongly encouraged read the book before reading with a child to make sure that it is appropriate.

When Someone Very Special Dies

Author: Marge Heegaard
Available from: https://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/when-someone-very-special-dies
This workbook is designed to help children learn about their feelings associated with death. Children are given the opportunity to illustrate and personalise their experience of loss through art. This book requires supervision of a parent or professional.

When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness

Author: Marge Heegaard
Available from: https://kidshealth.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/when-someone-has-very-serious-illness
This workbook is designed to help children understand their feelings about serious illness. It may be helpful to use as a classroom activity or as a one-on-one activity with a child.

Beyond the Rainbow: A Workbook for Children in the Advanced Stages of a Very Serious Illness

Author: Marge Eaton Heegaard
Available from: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Rainbow-Workbook-Children-Advanced/dp/1577491297
Beyond the Rainbow is an interactive art workbook for children to help them express their feelings that may be associated with a serious illness.

Tear Soup

Author: Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen
Available from: https://www.amazon.com/Tear-Soup-Recipe-Healing-After/dp/0961519762/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487736841
A story about a woman who makes Tear Soup after she experiences a terrible loss. As the soup is created by adding different ingredients, the messages within the book offer helpful information about grief and loss for both children and adults.

Music CDs

Time for Music: Is a fun and interactive Music CD that has a collection of children's favourite songs to be enjoyed by your child and family. The songs are performed by registered music therapists in consultation with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to promote movement, play and rest through participation. The CD can be purchased online by selecting the following link:
Quietly: Is a CD recording of improvised music played on the Reverie Harp.The soothing sounds may be played for babies, children, young people and other family members to create a sense of peace, quiet and tranquility. The CD can be purchased online by selecting the following link: