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
  • Lifetimes by Bryan Mellonie
  • Yesterday You Were Here by Melissa Little
  • Benson the Boxer by Karen Ferry

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
  • What Happens When We Die by JR Becke

Some other useful resources on supporting children through death and loss

Good Grief – an education program to support children and young people who are struggling with experiences of change, loss and grief.
Petrea King’s Quest for Life foundation has toolkits for children and adults, plus programs supporting people who are grieving.
Lion Heart Camp for Kids is a WA bereavement support program for kids aged 5-12.
The Australian Centre for Death and Bereavement has a comprehensive list of bereavement support services on their website.
If you know of other books or resources that you’ve found helpful to read with children please email to let us know at media@maggiedent.com