Children’s books to help with death, dying and illness

Below is a list of Australian books that may be helpful to assist children under 12 to better understand death and loss, or illness (particularly cancer).

  • Roses Are Blue by Sally Murphy
  • My Mum’s Got Cancer by Dr Lucy Blunt
  • Molly’s Memory Jar by Norma Spaulding
  • The Important Things by Peter Carnavas
  • The Balloon Cloud by Clare Hanlon
  • My Mum Has Breast Cancer by Lisa Sewards
  • What’s Dead Mean (activity book) by Doris Zagdanski
  • What About Me? By George Vlamakis
  • The Lilac Ladies by Jenny Hughes
  • Tiddycat by Josephine Croser
  • The Very Best of Friends by Margaret Wild

Some other helpful titles available from overseas authors

  • A Sky of Diamonds by Camille Gibbs
  • Ida, Always by Caron Levis and illustrated by Charles Santoso
  • I Wish I Could Hold Your Hand by Dr Pat Palmer
  • Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
  • The Very Best of Friends by Margaret Wild
  • The Memory Tree by Britta Teckentrup
  • The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic
  • Heart in a Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
  • Frog Ballet by Amanda McCardie
  • Little Elephant Underfoot by Sally Grindley

If you know of other books that you’ve found helpful to read with children please email to let us know at