4 New Picture Books About Death
Ida, Always by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso
This book is a beautiful story of friendship that doesn’t end in the passing of one friend. Gus and Ida are polar bears friends — Gus knows that Ida will always be there. And, after Ida’s death, Gus learns that Ida still is with him in his heart. It’s sad but beautiful.
The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Christian Robinson
The children find a dead bird, carry him to the woods, bury him, and decorate his grave with flowers. Sounds simple but for kids, this is a powerful narrative about life and death and ritual and tradition.
The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr
Todd Parr gets it right again with this new picture book on the subject of death and saying goodbye. He talks about how you might feel — sad, mad, like not talking, like hiding, and so forth. He writes how eventually you’ll start feeling better and they’ll be days when you feel up and days when you feel down. He writes how you’ll remember. How you might feel like talking to someone or drawing a picture. This book is a gift for children who are struggling and for those that aren’t — it’s a very accurate glimpse into the feelings when you must say goodbye.
Life and I A Story About Death by Elisabeth Helland Larsen, illustrated by Marnie Schneider
Death is a teal-colored girl with a red flower in her hair who shares how she’s a part of life in this lyrical journey that explores the nature of her visits to all living beings. She shares about love to reassure those who are scared, “Love does not die when it meets me.” This artfully drawn book feels kind-hearted and comforting. While it’s not as practical as other books about death, it introduces the truth that death and life go hand-in-hand, in a beautiful symbiotic way.