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Valencia Family Resource Library Guide: Book Suggestions with Discussion Guides
Harry & Hopper
By Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Feiwel & Friends
This book will be especially helpful if your pet died suddenly in an accident. It tells the story of a single father and boy who adopt Hopper when he is a puppy. While Hopper is still quite young he dies in an accident. The boy goes through a grieving process of saying goodbye to Hopper through a series of dreams rather than talking out loud about his feelings.
By Nancy Loewen
Illustrated by Christopher Lyles
Picture Window Books
This story is as helpful for adults in understanding the way children grieve as it is for children in understanding their own feelings. It will be useful for anyone who has experienced the death of a pet, but it deals specifically with the death of a pocket pet, in this case a guinea pig named Jeepers. In addition to the discussion points we are providing, the book provides many helpful considerations in yellow boxes.
By Amy Hest
Illustrated by Amy Bates
Abrams Books for Young Readers
A beautiful book in which a child tells the story of how his last dog died to a puppy he meets with no owner. At times the text tells the story, other times it’s the soft illustrations doing the storytelling work. This book will be especially useful if you’re interested in getting a new pet as a family, or if you’re trying to get your child to open up about their feelings.
By Corinne Demas
Illustrated by Ard Hoyt
Little, Brown Young Readers
This book will be especially helpful to those
who are currently saying goodbye to their pet. If your pet has not yet died, consider switching the suggestions for discussion below to the present tense. The book tells the story of the family dog Lulu dying, while also remembering all the fun time a little girl has spent with her. It is especially tender during a period when Lulu needs extra special care from the girl and her family.
A child will never forget a beloved pet, or the day it died. And the sadness that follows is true grief. This little elfin guide to good grief validates your child's sadness--the necessary first step for healing. It acknowledges feelings that are new, confusing, and frightening. And it offers creative ideas for easing the sting of grief and memorializing a lost pet. A touching tribute to the love between a child and pet––and a compassionate guide to handling this loss with gentleness and sensitivity.
This multicultural book from Mr. Rogers offers the story of two different families who are both experiencing the loss of their family pet. If your family is planning a memorial service for your pet or if your pet is in the process of dying, this book can be a great comfort to your child.
By Robie H. Harris
Illustrated by Jan Ormerod
This story will be of the most help for those raising a young child. It deals with the confusing mixture of sadness and anger a child can feel when their beloved pet dies. It also provides a reassuring level of detail as the child prepares to bury his pet mouse, and it is filled with ways your child can provide care for your pet one last time.
By Barbara Walsh
Illustrated by Jamie Wyeth
In this story, which will be especially useful for families who believe in heaven, a young child goes through the process of the family dog, Sammy, dying. Later, the family has a
celebration in the dog’s favorite place to honor the dog’s memory that would have been something Sammy would have enjoyed very much.
By Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Jim Lamarche
Random House Books for Young Readers
This is the peaceful story of a cat’s last day. It highlights all the things a pet can find pleasurable about their experiences with their humans and their homes in a reassuring way. If you are going to go through the process of euthanizing your pet, this book may assist your child in understanding what your animal is experiencing. In all cases it provides reassurance that our pets can be ready to say goodbye to us. If your pet has already passed away consider changing the discussion points below to the past tense.
Todd Parr’s The Goodbye Book walks young readers through tough feelings they may have while struggling with goodbyes. However, Todd reminds children things will get better! The author slyly gives them ideas about things they can do when the pain of loss subsides. Goodbyes can be done with love, while remembering many of the joys that person, pet, or thing brought to a child’s life.
From KidLit TV, all rights reserved by the author.
Many kids experience serious loss for the first time when a pet dies. Books that deal with this sad event can help prepare them and make it easier for them to process their feelings. These compelling stories can even help kids cope with the death of a family member or friend. For more books that deal with death and animals, see our Books About Grief and Best Animal Books for Kids lists.
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