Copyright © Thanatos Books and Sirius Publishing 2019-2021. All rights reserved
Jade is so used to being with – and agreeing with - Vicky, her larger-than-life friend that, when an awful accident occurs, Vicky is simply no longer there. However, Vicky is not going to let a small thing like being dead stop her from still enjoying life with Jade. Whether Jade is in lessons, out running, or trying to make new friends, Vicky is determined to let Jade know she is still there by making her presence strongly felt. “You look as if you’ve seen a ghost”, she tells Jade at the hospital when she suddenly appears just minutes after her death. This book writes amusingly and honestly about the strong emotional issues that arise when a close friend dies. Those aged 9+ will particularly enjoy the language and situations in this book.
I found a dead bird. A guide to the cycle of life and death
“I found a dead bird. It made me sad...but I also had a lot of questions, like: Why did it have to die? How did it die? What would happen to it now that it was dead?” These questions, and many others, are tackled in this wide-ranging picture book about death and the cycle of life. Units include: human destruction, accidental death, memories, learning from death, decomposition of an animal, the afterlife, funeral customs, and lifespans. Children will delight in, but also, devour the facts in this book and will probably share them with friends and adults. They will soon begin to make connections to the world around in this groundbreaking book that would also be a useful addition to classroom or school libraries.
Death, Duck and the tulip
With a shock Duck suddenly finds Death standing next to her. “Oh, I’ve been close by all your life – just in case” he tells her. After some uncertainty, they settle into a kind of friendship. They go into the pond together after which Duck warms up damp Death who has never had such a kind offer before. Duck asks questions about death but Death only gives pithy answers. As summer ends Duck begins to feel chilly and they hold hands/wings looking into each other’s eyes. When Duck dies, we see – for the first time - a solid blue background representing the Great River into which Death gently sends Duck on her way with the tulip. This picture book’s style and humour is good for ages 7+.
What happened to Daddy's body? Explaining what happens after death in words very young children can understand
“Today we are out in the garden. It always makes me think about my daddy because he loved his garden. Sometimes, I wonder what happened to my daddy's body...” This picture book aims to help children aged 3+ understand what happens to the body after someone has died. Through telling the story of what happened to his daddy's body, we see Alex learn about cremation, burial and spreading ashes. Full of questions written in Alex's own words, and with the gentle and honest answers of his mother, this story will reassure any young child who might be confused about death and what happens afterwards. It also reiterates the message that when someone you love has died, it is okay to be both sad and happy.
Ellie & Alex Barber
When someone very special dies
This book’s activities use drawing and colouring to help children understand what death means and what their feelings and behaviour about it are. The book will encourage open communication and help to uncover children’s misconceptions about death and their fears about the future. Conflict may also be resolved and self-esteem increased, while coping skills are developed. Weekly sessions of 90 minutes are suggested for each of the 7 sessions but individual needs may vary. These 7 sessions are: Change is part of life; Dead is the end of living; Living means feeling; Feeling better; Sharing memories; I’m special too. It can be used individually or with a group facilitated by a supportive adult.
The memory tree
Fox has lived a long and happy life in the forest, but now he is tired. He lies down in his favourite clearing, and falls asleep for ever. Before long, Fox's friends begin to gather in the clearing. One by one, they tell stories of the special moments that they shared with Fox. And so, as they share their memories, a tree begins to grow, becoming bigger and stronger with each memory, sheltering and protecting all the animals in the forest, just as Fox did when he was alive. This picture book about the loss of a loved one, which is reminiscent of ‘Badger’s parting gifts,’ is good for sharing and will bring comfort to children as well as their parents.