We recently had cause to search out some material that might help some primary school children think, talk, discuss, understand… people dying and “death”. I was directed by many friends of friends (a beauty of the internet) to what turns out to be just the tip of a wealth of material, and I’d like to thank all of those people for their suggestions.
In turn, as always, the local library has been a great help! (Do you use yours? Use it or lose it I fear!?)
I have yet to delve into many of the titles but, I thought I’d share the list here – you might have need of similar.
My selection of stories that relate to death:
- Water bugs and Dragon flies (Looking Up), by Doris Stickney
- Badger’s Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley
- The Heart in a Bottle, by Oliver Jeffers
- Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen
Also a friend of a friend also shared a great poem that starts:
- A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground… shared by Pat Bilsborrow
Here’s the full list: (in alphabetical order)
A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground… (Author unknown) replicated below
All the dear little animals, by Ulf Nilsson and Eva Erikson
Always and Forever, by Alan Durant.
Badger’s Parting Gifts, by Susan Varley
Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
Dear Grandma Bunny, by Dick Bruna
Goodbye Mog, by Judith Kerr
Grandpa, by Raymond Briggs
I Miss You, a first look at death, by Pat Thomas
Little Elephant Thunderfoot, by Sally Grindley
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, by Michael Rosen
Muddles Puddles and Sunshine, by Diana Crossley illustrated by Kate Sheppard
No matter what, by Debi Gliori
Out of the Blue, by Winston’s Wish (Teenagers)
Tapestry, by Bob Hartman
The Day the Sea Went out and Never Came Back, (Helping Children with Feelings) by Margot Sunderland
The Goodbye Boat, by Mary Joslin
The Heart in a bottle, by Oliver Jeffers
The Soldier and Death: a Russian folk tale
The tenth good thing about Barney, by Judith Viorst
Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume (teens and adults
Water bugs and Dragon flies (Looking Up), by Doris Stickney
When someone very special dies, by Marge Heegaard to be illustrated by children
A spider spun a silken web (Author unknown) shared by Pat Bilsborrow.
A spider spun a silken web and swung from grass to ground.
I must find out the news he said, thats buzzing all around.
The garden creatures great and small were quiet as a mouse,
they saw the caterpillar crawl into a tiny house.
She’s such a fool said the lady bird, whilst polishing her nails,
its the silliest thing I’ve ever heard, said a pair of solemn snails.
And all the creatures went away all thinking she was dead.
Until one bright and shiny day A little earthworm said.
I see a crack in the little shell, and something moves inside,
I see a head and wings as well, come quick and see, he cried.
The caterpillars back, they said, before their very eyes,
A butterfly stepped out and smiles at their surprise.
I left the life you thought I knew, you thought that I was dead.
I did it just to show to you, we die to grow. she said.